One to Follow: @Pomological on Twitter

Here’s one of my very favourite Twitter accounts (and proof that not all Twitter bots are tools of evil).

@pomological, or ‘old fruit pictures’ is “a bot tweeting random images from the pomological watercolor collection in the USDA’s National Agricultural Library”.

Which translates to a rolling, three-hourly stream of rather lovely fruit illustrations, like these:

Some of the artists whose work features on a regular basis include: Mary Daisy Arnold, Bertha Heiges, Elsie E. Lower (Pomeroy), Amanda Almira Newton, Deborah Griscom Passmore, Ellen Isham Schutt, James Marion Shull, and Royal Charles Steadman.

They were all (at least I assume all, as there’s no bibliographical information around for Bertha) employed by the US Dept. of Agriculture during the early C20th to produce illustrations and also wax models of various fruits, nuts and other commercial crop plants.

Their collective legacy is the bank of images that @pomological streams today. These illustrations (7,584 of them!) are currently available to view via the legacy USDA pomological watercolors collection website (although that’s apparently being merged into a larger digital collection, so the link may deactivate – or hopefully be redirected – at some point).

The collection is well worth a browse and @pomological is well worth a follow, whether you enjoy the artwork, or are interested in researching early C20th commercial fruit cultivars in the USA.


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