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Luther Burbank is Born

Today in Masonic History Luther Burbank is born in 1849.

Luther Burbank was an American horticultural, botanist and pioneer in agricultural science.

Burbank was born in Lancaster, Massachusetts on March 7th, 1849. He was the 13th of 18 children. At the age of 21, Burbank's father passed away. With his inheritance he purchased a farm in Massachusetts. On the farm he developed the Burbank Potato, which became the Russet Burbank potato which is the most cultivated potato in the United States.

In 1877, Burbank sold the rights to the Burbank Potato and used the $150 to move to Santa Rosa, California. Initially he purchased a 4 acre farm, put up a green house and used the land to conduct experiments in cross breeding, inspired by the Charles Darwin's book The Variation of Plants and Animals under domestication

From 1904 to 1909, Burbank received grant money and support from Andrew Carnegie. Although some of Carnegie's advisors thought Burbank's methods were not scientific enough.

Through out the first decade of the 20th century, Burbank was steadily in the news with his many new creations.

In his life Burbank created hundreds of new fruit species, as well flowers, grasses and vegetables.

Burbank passed away on April 11, 1926. The prior month he had a heart attack and developed complications which contributed to his passing.

After his death, Congress passed the 1930 Plant Patent Act. The act allowed the patent of newly created plant species. At the hearing to determine whether the bill should pass, Thomas Edison said the bill "will, I feel sure, give us many Burbanks".

Burbank was a member of Santa Rosa Lodge No. 57, in Santa Rosa, California.

This article provided by Brother Eric C. Steele.