FROM: http://www.parkscanada.pch.gc.ca/library/background/132_e.htm - no longer available

THE DISCOVERY AND DEVELOPMENT OF THE MCINTOSH APPLE

In 1811, John McIntosh discovered a number of seedling apple trees on his newly acquired property in Dundela, Ontario. One of these trees survived and bore an impressive fruit. This defining moment in Canada's horticultural history led to the proliferation of the McIntosh apple around the world. The discovery, however, would not have been significant if John, and later his son Allen and grandson Harvey, had not nurtured, propagated and marketed this apple named after the family. By the mid 20th century, the McIntosh apple had become synonymous with Canada.

Ideally suited to certain regions in Canada, the apple is characterized by a beautiful juicy, white flesh and a delicious sweet taste. At first, although recognized as a superior tasting apple, the McIntosh had three weaknesses that held it back from attaining the fame it now enjoys. Once new techniques and materials were discovered that overcame its tendency to scab disease, pre-harvest drop and curb storage problems, the popularity of the apple knew no bounds.

Although its parentage is unknown, the McIntosh has been used to create a number of significant hybrids, a number of which are still on the market today. By the 1960s, the McIntosh apple accounted for nearly 40 percent of the Canadian apple market and continues to be the most widely grown and sold Canadian fruit. In fact, the apple has become accepted worldwide and is responsible for much of the successes of this industry both in Canada's domestic and export markets.


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