Sunday, December 21, 2008

Pratt Stories - Uncle Burr

This is from a 1918 issue of the Procedings of the American Society of Horticultural Scientists, it was accopanied by a photograph of Burr:
Burr B. Pratt died of influ-pneumonia at Chicago, Illinois, in October 1918. He was born on a farm near Riverside, Michigan, May 12th, 1886. He received his early horticultural training on the large fruit farm of his father near Riverside; afterwards he entered Michigan Agricultural College, specializing in horticulture, and was graduated from that institution in June 1909.
Immediately after graduation  he became associated with the fruit handling, transportation and storage investigations of the United States Department of Agriculture. In the course of these investigations he visited practically all the important fruit-producing sections of the country.
In the summer of 1913 he was called to the University of California as Assistant Professor of Pomology,* where he acted as head of the newly created Division of Pomology of that institution.
In June 1914, he severed his connection with the University of California and became manager of the field department of the California Fruit Growers Exchange,** a cooperative, non-profit marketing organization of over 8,000 citrus fruit growers. As head of this department he had general supervision of the handling of fruit in Exchange orchards and packing houses. His department acted as the clearing-house through which the latest information in regard to orchard and packing house methods was placed in the hands of growers. His work in connection with the Field Department of the California Fruit Growers Exchange in improving the handling methods with citrus fruit has been of inestimable value to the citrus growers of California.
In October, 1917, he was again called to the Federal Service in the Bureau of Markets, as Supervising Inspector of Perishable Fruits, at Chicago, remaining in the latter position until his death. In the short time in which he was in charge of inspection work for the Chicago District he had developed his work to a high degree of efficiency, and was held in great esteem by the shippers as well as the fruit trade.
Of the younger school of horticulturalists it is questionable whether any one in recent years has exerted such a wide sphere of influence and been of real help to such a large number of fruit growers as Burr Pratt.
His many friends in all sections of the country will mourn his untimely death.
*Wikipedia: Pomology is a branch of botany that studies and cultivates fruits.
MY NOTE: An outstanding career cut short and a family tragedy.
Emailed August 27

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