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Little Gem flower seed and display box
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Object ID 000789

Object Name Little Gem flower seed and display box

Object Desc Cardboard display box and seed packet for The "Little Gem" collection of flower seeds put up by W. D. Burt in Dalton, NY.

Collection General Collection

Accession # CMY000716a-b

Alternate ID

General Category History

Category Agriculture


Source Category Found In Collection

Accession Date JAN 1,1991


Location Hardware Store

Object Date

Start Year Range 1896

End Year Range 1929

Status On Exhibit

Object Keywords seeds,flowers,W. D. Burt,Little Gem Seeds,gardening,display,

Title Little Gem flower seed and display box

Description Yellow cardboard display box for W.D. Burt seeds made in Dalton, NY (CMY716a). Box states seed packet was 10 cents. Back and bottom of display are devoid of printing. Sides have price and "Seeds of Distinction." Large seed packet (CMY716b) has brightly colored lithograph of flowers in The "Little Gem" seed collection - very best nasturtiums, finest mixed pansies, choicest pinks, calliopsis, little gem asters, California giant sweet peas, and poppies. Back of seed packet describes each of the seven varieties of flower seeds included in the collection.


Approx Collection Date

Height 9.25

Length 6

Width 0

Depth 3

Diameter 0

Circumference 0

Weight 0

Unit of Measure Inches/ounces

Dimension Details CMY716a: height at tallest back point is 9.25". height at shortest front point is 1.5" CMY716b: 8.875" high, 5.625"

Quantity 1



Site Details

Place of Origin

Maker W. D. Burt

Maker Details As a teenager, William D. Burt entered a pumpkin growing contest in 1894 and won. He was persuaded to sell the seeds of his giant pumpkin and in 1896 started a seed company. His seeds came to the attention of 5 and 10 cent stores such as Woolworths and he became a huge success. At the company’s height of production it employed over fifty people and produced over 20,000,000 seed packets per year. A great deal of the success of the seed company can be attributed to the brightly colored lithographed "Collection Bags." The "Collection Bags" each contained five or more packets of seeds that were depicted in rich, vibrant colors thanks to the litho processed used. The seed business was thriving in 1925 when W.D. unexpectedly passed away. His son, Malcolm, took over the running of the family business along with his step-mother. Malcolm abandoned the seed business in the 1940s and turned the building into a print shop. All of the remaining seed stock were donated to the war effort.

Maker Mark


(click for full image)

Image Caption CMY716a-b



Date JUN 5,2013

Summary Excellent

Assessor Molly Hannan

Notes Cardboard display shows a small amount of wear, a slight tear on the left side but overall in excellent condition. Seed packet is also in excellent condition though no longer contains its original contents.