January 1, 2010
Early Fruit & Vegetable Seed Catalogs of Southern California: Germain’s Seed Company
Germain Seed and Plant Company was established in 1871 by Swiss born Eugene Germain at 326 – 330 South Main St., Los Angeles.
Eugene Germain was a very prominent Angeleno serving as the first president of the Board of Trade, and was one of the first vice-presidents of the Los Angeles Chamber of Commerce. In 1893 he was appointed by President Cleveland to serve as United States Consul to Switzerland (McGroaty, 682).
Germain’s son Marc succeeded him as president in 1909, and in 1922, Manfred Meyberg took over the presidency after working his way up from stock clerk (Padilla, 202). Both are featured in this staff picture from the 1915 catalog. Another pioneer in California’s horticultural history, Theodore Payne, also worked for Germain’s from 1896 until 1903 when he started his own business (Padilla, 163)
We were excited to find such an early example of one of the catalogs in Spanish; published in 1906. More photos from this catalog can be viewed in the Flickr slideshow below.
Germain's later moved to 625 S. Hill Street and opened several locations in California as can be seen in the 1945 catalog below.
View more photos in the Flickr slideshow:
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