Thomas, John Jacob 1810-1895

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John Jacob Thomas was a pomologist, writer, and rural economist. It has been said that he was "one of the three pomologists who may be said to have created the science in this country (the others being Patrick Barry and the elder Downing)." This evaluation would seem to be somewhat exaggerated but undoubtedly his editorials in The Cultivator and The Country Gentleman for nearly 60 years had a profound influence on American agriculture. His reputation rests also to a large degree upon his book The American Fruit Culturist first published in 1846. The book was popular for many years and in 1867 it was republished in a different style, the material nicely arranged and rewritten. A so-called "twentieth" edition revised and enlarged by William H.S. Wood appeared in 1897. Undoubtedly these editions had an outstanding influence on fruit culture for 50 years.