- Collection ID:
Bedman Brothers Rahway, New Jersey.
William Bedman Seed Company. (Rahway, New Jersey)
- Physical Description:
Archives of American Gardens
The Bedman Brothers Company Records collection focuses primarily on the business and financial transactions of Bedman Brothers seed company of Rahway, New Jersey, and includes accounting ledgers, purchase orders, price lists, miscellaneous business and family correspondence, and various brochures, pamphlets and leaflets related to horticultural topics. Other holdings in the collection include World War II ration stamps and two scrapbooks, one of which contains many late nineteenth and early twentieth century chromo-lithographed trade cards (primarily from the sewing, clothing, and floral industries). The other scrapbook holds news clippings from the Civil War period. Some seed gathering equipment used by field workers rounds out the collection.
The William Bedman Seed Company of Rahway, New Jersey was established in 1843 by William Bedman with the support of James Thorburn, a Manhattan seed purveyor. The firm, later called Bedman Brothers, was principally a wholesale mail order seed company that sold to consumer-end seed houses such as Vicks, W. Atlee Burpee, and George J. Ball. Bedman Brothers became known for its production of salvias (sage), including the development of 'Bonfire' or Clara Bedman sage variety. The company continued after William Bedman's tenure under the leadership of his sons Charles, James and John. The business ended after the death of Joseph Bedman, William's grandson, in 1962.
Separated Materials note
Assorted nursery and trade catalogs and price lists from the Bedman Brothers records were transferred to the Smithsonian Institution's National Museum of American History Library, Horticulture Trade Catalogs Collection.
Encoded by AAA intern, Brittany Dunton, December 2011.
The records were processed by AAG intern Josh Lascell in 2005.
Finding aid prepared by Josh Lascell
Immediate Source of Acquisition Note
Donated to the Smithsonian Office of Horticulture (later Horticulture Services Division) in 1984 by Gladys and Florence Whitehead, great-granddaughters of William Bedman.
Using the Collection
Restrictions on Access
Access to original images by appointment only. Researcher must submit request for appointment in writing. Certain items may be restricted and not available to researchers. Please direct reference inquiries to the Archives of American Gardens: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Conditions Governing Use note
Archives of American Gardens encourages the use of its archival materials for non-commercial, educational and personal use under the fair use provision of U.S. copyright law. Use or copyright restrictions may exist. It is incumbent upon the researcher to ascertain copyright status and assume responsibility for usage. All requests for duplication and use must be submitted in writing and approved by Archives of American Gardens.
Smithsonian Institution, Archives of American Gardens, Bedman Brothers Company Records.
Archives of American Gardens
P.O. Box 37012
Capital Gallery, Suite 3300, MRC 506
Washington, DC, 20013-7012