June 23, 2018
Business Latest News | Poll Questions | Border Patrol | Energy Scam | Toxic Moths

A little cranberry history

Tom Walsh | BDN
Tom Walsh | BDN
Cranberries ready to be harvested in Downeast Maine.
By Tom Walsh, BDN Staff

1550: Native Americans use cranberries for food, dyes and medicine.

1620: Pilgrims learn to use cranberries from the Native Americans.

1683: Cranberry juice made by settlers.

1816: Captain Henry Hall first cultivated cranberries in Dennis, Mass.

1820s: Cranberries shipped to Europe for sale.

1838: First record of ice sanding on bogs. Flooding first used to control insects and prevent frost damage.

1843: Eli Howes cultivated Howes variety of cranberries in East Dennis, Mass.

1845: “An Act for the Protection of Cranberries on Gay Head” put forth by Gay Head Indians on Martha’s Vineyard.

1847: Cyprus Cahoon cultivated Early Black variety cranberries in Harwich, Mass.

1850s: First cranberry scoops used for harvest. Water-harvesting tried, but abandoned. Seamen used cranberries to prevent scurvy at sea.

1854: First census on cranberry acreage —197 acres in Barnstable County, Mass.

1856: “The Cranberry and its Culture” published by Benjamin Eastwood.

1860s: Maine has more than 600 acres of producing cranberry bogs.

1863: U.S. Department of Agriculture creates Massachusetts Agricultural College (University of Massachusetts). Abraham Lincoln proclaims first national Thanksgiving.

1868: Standard 100-pound barrel of cranberries sold for $0.58 in Philadelphia, Pa.

1871: American Cranberry Growers Association formed in Massachusetts.

1870s: Six-quart pail used as standard picking measure.

1887: Snap scoop invented for younger vines by Daniel Lumbert.

1888: Cape Cod Cranberry Growers Association formed in Massachusetts.

1906: Henry J. Franklin began formal agricultural research on cranberries.

1907: First market cooperative — New England Cranberry Sales Co. — founded.

1910: Cranberry Experiment Station research facility established in Wareham, Mass. Dr. Henry J. Franklin named first director of Cranberry Experiment Station. More efficient rocker scoop used.

1912: Hayden cranberry separator patented. First cranberry sauce marketed, Hanson, Mass.

1920: Oscar Terbo invented first mechanical ride-on dry-harvester known as Matthewson. Telephone frost warning system started.

1923: Bailey Separator patented to grade and separate cranberries by bouncing the berries.

1930: Ocean Spray formed as a grower-owned marketing cooperative. One of the three founding members was Marcus Urann, native of Sullivan, Maine.

1930s: Women allowed to use scoops.

1947: Walk-behind mechanical dry harvesters replace hand scooping.

1953: First million-barrel national crop.

1960s: First successful water harvesting Sprinkler systems installed on most bogs. Cranberry products diversify and market expands.

1970s: Integrated Pest Management program used.

1983: Formal IPM programs developed.

1980s: International market developed for cranberries and cranberry products become ingredients in other products.

1989: Maine Cranberry Growers Association formed.

1995: Crop of 4,200 barrels harvested in Maine.

1996: Irving Demoranville retires from Cranberry Experiment Station in Massachusetts; Per-barrel return as much as $90.

1998: UMaine Cooperative Extension adds a cranberry position to run an Integrated Pest Management program for Maine’s cranberry industry

2002: Two independent studies find that antioxidants — which cranberries are high in — appear to provide some significant protection against Alzheimer’s disease

2009: Crop of 26,000 barrels, at 100 pounds per barrel, is harvested in Maine, representing the greatest amount so far in the state’s modern history.

Have feedback? Want to know more? Send us ideas for follow-up stories.

You may also like