Sterling Silver

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Don
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Sterling Silver

Post: # 15964Post Don
Fri Apr 11, 2008 1:00 am

The ancestry of Sterling Silver is a mystery except that we know from Ethyl (Gladys) Fisher's patent application that it has Peace as one parent. SS is my personal all time favorite because of its amazing scent, so I did some digging through her (~11) patents and compiled a list of all the roses she documented as parents.

Peace - patent 591, as female

Rapture - unpatented,as female

Rome Glory - patent 304,as male

Happiness - patent 911, as female

New Yorker - patent 823, as male

Golden Anniversary - patent 806, probably as female

Masquerade - patent 975, probably as male

Mission Bells - patent 923 as male

Talisman - unpatented, as female

R. M. S. Queen Mary - patent 249 as male

Rome Glory - unpatented, as female

Better Times - patent 23 as male

Orange Nassau - patent 350, as male

Floradora - unpatented as female

Fashion - patent 789 as male

So maybe one of these is the daddy of Stering Silver. However, I also learned that the Fisher family were florists in Woburn, Massachusetts where they grew flowers for sale at Quincy Market. Conard Pyle was her only patent assignee, so it seems likely that they also provided the family's greenhouse inventory. Basically the sky is the limit on Sterling Silver's other progenitor.
What doesn't kill them makes them stronger.

Henry Kuska

Re: Sterling Silver

Post: # 15965Post Henry Kuska
Fri Apr 11, 2008 1:00 am

I recommend that one take any parentage that includes Peace with a little skeptism. There is the possibility that Peace was listed as a parent for "commercial" reasons.

Jadae (zone 8b)

Re: Sterling Silver

Post: # 15970Post Jadae (zone 8b)
Fri Apr 11, 2008 1:00 am

Hi. I have researched Sterling Silver. The male parent was a mauve HT of her creation. I'm not at home right now, so I do not have access to the source of this info.


Don
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Re: Sterling Silver

Post: # 16031Post Don
Mon Apr 14, 2008 1:00 am

Thanks for this, Jadae.

I have put some effort into finding out about Gladys Fisher because virtually nothing is known about her. So far I have just found genealogical data and some clues about the family business. For instance, I'm pretty sure she died in 1962 and is buried in the Pine Ridge Cemetery in Chelmsford, Massachusetts.

However, there is a potential goldmine of rose related information available for someone near enough to take advantage of it. The Conard Pyle Company archives has been donated to the University of Delaware, where it sits waiting to be explored. There are 138 boxes of material, so far unindexed.

It's possible that some correspondence in those boxes may hold clues to Gladys' hybridization work and maybe even some additional detail about the unnamed seedling from which Sterling Silver is derived. I think, too, that her family still lives in the Woburn area, and so maybe someday a diary or her notes will turn up.

Don
What doesn't kill them makes them stronger.

Jadae (zone 8b)

Re: Sterling Silver

Post: # 16032Post Jadae (zone 8b)
Tue Apr 15, 2008 1:00 am

No problem.

Deborah Kelley

Re: Sterling Silver

Post: # 69844Post Deborah Kelley
Fri May 10, 2019 5:55 pm

Don !I !m posting in response to your comments about my grandmother Esther Gladys Fisher. She and my grandfather Frank Gordon Fisher opened Arnold Fisher Co in 1916 and the company ceased operation in 1975. My grandmother passed in 1993 at nearly 100 years old and was as sharp as a tack until passing from a stroke. I have all her awards and copies of her patents during her years of hybridizing. I realize you may not see this post as I only went to this site today. The only piece of our original property is what was our barn and it stands at 69 Wyman St ,Woburn. It was converted into a home for my parents Gordon and Peggy Fisher in 1986. Unfortunately my dad passed in January of 86 and never had the chance to move in with my mother and grandmother Gar (Gladys).

Deborah Kelley

Re: Sterling Silver

Post: # 69845Post Deborah Kelley
Fri May 10, 2019 5:55 pm

Don !I !m posting in response to your comments about my grandmother Esther Gladys Fisher. She and my grandfather Frank Gordon Fisher opened Arnold Fisher Co in 1916 and the company ceased operation in 1975. My grandmother passed in 1993 at nearly 100 years old and was as sharp as a tack until passing from a stroke. I have all her awards and copies of her patents during her years of hybridizing. I realize you may not see this post as I only went to this site today. The only piece of our original property is what was our barn and it stands at 69 Wyman St ,Woburn. It was converted into a home for my parents Gordon and Peggy Fisher in 1986. Unfortunately my dad passed in January of 86 and never had the chance to move in with my mother and grandmother Gar (Gladys).

Don
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Re: Sterling Silver

Post: # 69846Post Don
Sat May 11, 2019 9:51 am

Hi Deborah, thanks very much for posting your note. You apparently posted as a guest so I can't send you a personal message via the forum and you didn't leave an email address. If you would send me a note to don@rosebreeders.org I would love to correspond with you. I have just a ton of questions.
Don
What doesn't kill them makes them stronger.

roseseek
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Location: Zone 9b Central California, Sunset Zone 15
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Re: Sterling Silver

Post: # 69850Post roseseek
Mon May 13, 2019 1:13 am

And most of the rest of us would LOVE to hear both questions and answers! Thank you for sharing your information and memories of your grandmother and her work!
Kim
California Central Coast
USDA Zone 9b
Sunset Zone 15
Cooler inland coastal valley with strong marine influence

Karl K
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Re: Sterling Silver

Post: # 69853Post Karl K
Mon May 13, 2019 2:04 pm

An article by Gladys Fisher I found this morning.

Telegraph Delivery Spirit, 23(2): 36 (1956)
Hybridizing Roses
By Gladys Fisher 
Arnold-Fisher Co. Woburn, Mass

ROSES, old and new, are the most fascinating flowers in the world,  to write about as well as to work with in hybridizing for new varieties.

As hybridizer for the Arnold-Fisher Company of Woburn, Massachusetts, I use many of the old favorites in my quest for roses of greater beauty and more  desirable characteristics.

Beauty, form and true color are the first requirements of a rose, for without these, a rose seldom comes to the attention of the hybridizer. Once his interest is aroused, he tests the rose for the following — texture of petal; strong stem and neck; beauty of leaves; thornlessness; twenty-five or more petals; productivity; disease resistance and keeping qualities.

Two of the roses that have been patented by the Arnold-Fisher Company and recently introduced as greenhouse roses are "Sterling Silver" and "Capri."

"Sterling Silver" is so named because it has been adopted by the Sterling Silversmiths Guild of America.

"Sterling Silver" — a true lavender hybrid tea — has to be seen to be believed. Only when one has been able to touch its firm petals, enjoy its wonderfully sweet perfume, does one realize that it is real, and a breathtakingly new color has come to the rose world.

This newcomer has a long high-centered bud and opens to a perfect whorl. It has twenty-five to thirty-five  lavender petals, overlayed with a satiny silver; stems practically thornless; strong stem and neck; large semi-glossy leaves and is a good keeper.

Peace, the most famous of all garden roses, is the female parent of "Sterling Silver". Though this new lavender rose inherits the wonderful vigor of Peace, its constant blooming habit comes from the male parent of mixed ancestry, including Rapture, Better Times and Pink Delight.

This beautiful rose was introduced at the Sterling Silver Rose Tournament held on June twentieth and twenty-first. Flower arrangers from all over the United States competed for a five thousand dollar Sterling Silver Rose trophy and eight valuable Sterling Silver containers donated by the Sterling Silversmiths Guild. From the many competitors on June twentieth, eight finalists were chosen who were given a Sterling Silver container.

Don
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Re: Sterling Silver

Post: # 69854Post Don
Mon May 13, 2019 3:07 pm

Thanks for this, Karl. Hopefully someone at HMF will add the information on the second parent to the monograph for Sterling Silver.

I have not yet heard back from Deborah Kelley. I'd love to ask her if she has Gladys' breeding notes or knows where they are.
What doesn't kill them makes them stronger.

roseseek
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Location: Zone 9b Central California, Sunset Zone 15
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Re: Sterling Silver

Post: # 69855Post roseseek
Mon May 13, 2019 3:25 pm

Thank you, Karl. Would you please add your article to the References section on HMF? I'll add the parentage quote.
Kim
California Central Coast
USDA Zone 9b
Sunset Zone 15
Cooler inland coastal valley with strong marine influence

Karl K
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Joined: Sat Jun 02, 2012 4:49 pm
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Re: Sterling Silver

Post: # 69856Post Karl K
Mon May 13, 2019 6:41 pm

roseseek wrote:
Mon May 13, 2019 3:25 pm
Thank you, Karl. Would you please add your article to the References section on HMF? I'll add the parentage quote.
I've been trying to add a few items, including two articles on 'Sterling Silver', but having little success. I just sent a note to the Admin.

roseseek
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Re: Sterling Silver

Post: # 69857Post roseseek
Mon May 13, 2019 8:56 pm

I'm sorry, thank you.
Kim
California Central Coast
USDA Zone 9b
Sunset Zone 15
Cooler inland coastal valley with strong marine influence

Karl K
Posts: 1224
Joined: Sat Jun 02, 2012 4:49 pm
Contact:

Re: Sterling Silver

Post: # 69866Post Karl K
Wed May 15, 2019 3:37 pm

Don wrote:
Mon May 13, 2019 3:07 pm
Thanks for this, Karl. Hopefully someone at HMF will add the information on the second parent to the monograph for Sterling Silver.
Don,
I found two more newspaper articles, but they have the usual weakness: they are newspaper articles. I had a similar problem when I was researching Schoener. It became apparent that the "reporters" dropped by his place, jotted down some notes, then went back to the office to smush (no other word for it) the notes into a "human interest" story. A lot of chaff with the occasional kernel of information. The trick it to separate one from the other.



Independent Press-Telegram, Long Beach, CA. p. 100 (Sunday, August 12, 1956
There's Silver on the Bush
Matt Bassity

A hybrid tea rose, for which a $5000 solid silver bowl was specially created, has been shown to the public for the first time by its  introducers, the Jackson Perkins Co., during the 25th annual Rose Festival al Newark,  N. Y.

Named Sterling Silver, the new rose was developed by Gladys Fisher of Woburn, Mass., one of the few women rose hybridizers in the world. It is the result of a cross between the well known hybrid tea rose, Peace, and a grey blue-lavender rose called Morning Mist.

OTHER THAN its color, which is a pure lavender with a silver sheen, the most outstanding characteristic of Sterling Silver is the pronounced fragrance, which its originators say can be best described as the scent of attar-of-roses.

Good for use in arrangements because of its long, strong stems, this new variety also is remarkable for its absence of thorns. A further asset is its handsome glossy leaves.

The silvery sheen of the tight buds and the luminescent quality of the full-blown rose make it particularly desirable for displays in silver containers, rose authorities say.


The Circleville Herald (Circleville, Ohio) p. 5 (26 Aug 1959)
Mrs. Fisher Top Rose Hybridizer

There are only two or three top flight women rose hybridizers in the whole world. Mrs. Gordon Fisher of Woburn, Mass., is one.

She developed one of the first true lavender roses, "Sterling Silver".

And because "Sterling Silver" has a bluish cast in its silver petals it is in the realm of possibility that this interesting, long-stemmed, fragrant lavender rose may be an ancestor to the first blue roses to come out of America.

Anyway Gladys Fisher is hoping for a blue rose. And each morning when she views flats of tiny seedlings she casts a quick glance over the whole lot for a blue rose.

Seedling roses bloom when only two or three inches high. And from these seedlings rosarians work to develop length of stem and texture or petals. The color of the rose seedling never changes.

MRS. FISHER is described as a vivacious, attractive little person, forever sought after as speaker at rose festivals and garden clubs. Both she and her husband, the late Gordon Fisher, were graduates of the University of New Hampshire. They were married in 1916. And for some 27 odd years Mrs. Fisher stuck to her "knitting" which happened to be the business of making a home and rearing the two Fisher children.

Just one week after her husband's death in 1943 the head rose hybridist at the Arnold-Fisher company, the wholesale florist organization which her husband had owned, left to enter the service.

And Mrs. Fisher decided to try her hand at the job. Timidly at first! During the first year she made only between 50 and 100 crosses.

She worked for five years before she developed her first patented rose, "Pandora," a creamy apricot with a heart of deeper apricot. Others are "Love Song", "Tapestry" and "Capri".

In 1946 Mrs. Fisher's first lavender, "Morning Mist" was developed. From "Morning Mist" a stronger rose, "Sterling Silver" was created.

Mrs. Fisher frankly admits that patience is one of the characteristics a rose hybridist needs. It is a tedious and exacting job. It also requires a formidable knowledge of the principles of heredity.

First Mrs. Fisher says she chooses a rose of good stock. A rose bud is selected, opened and the pollen popped into an envelope and carefully labeled.

In a few days when she is ready to make the cross she selects that parent rose, removes the petals, stamens and pollen. Then she rubs the pistil of this rose in the pollen from the envelope. When the pistil is throughly covered she ties a glassine bag over the cross to prevent further pollenization.

THE ROSE is tagged with complete information.

Later when Mrs. Fisher inspects it, if the seed pod is green she knows the cross has taken. When the rose hip is the size of a walnut and orange in color the seeds are removed and planted in flats.

It takes some three months before the seedlings are an inch high. Even at this early date the selectivity starts.

Roses are self pollenizing so the hybridizer dares not wait for the rose to open but must make her cross while it is still in bud.

Mrs. Fisher may have started her work timidly but now her seedlings number up to 10,000 a year. So maybe she will reach her goal. Maybe she will be the one to develop the first American blue rose.

We say "American Blue Rose" because blue roses have been developed both in Japan and Germany.

It is interesting to note that Mrs. Paul Wood of Stoutsville during her stay inJapan in 1955 saw blue roses which had been grown in the Japanese Emperor's garden. And they were a true blue she says. She also saw brown and black roses in Japan.

Mrs. Fisher has another goal beside a blue rose. She's striving for a more perfect red rose. It will be a sort of memorial to her late husband whose favorite flower was the red rose.

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