From the period following the close of the First World War in 1919 to that following the Second World War about 1946, the Department of Horticulture was relatively stable. Changes in personnel were few, particularly at the top level, and several members of the faculty served throughout this entire period. The organization of the Department was pretty much the same, a few changes occurring near the close of the period. The program of instruction was also relatively constant, although some changes being necessary during the depression years because of scarcity of students; and the program was somewhat disrupted during the war years. However, no radical changes in it were made. The research program expanded somewhat during the 1920s, contracted a little during the depression years, expanded again during the late 1930s, and then shrank to a low ebb during the time of the World War.

Professor S. W. Fletcher remained as Head of the Department until 1937. In 1927 he was appointed to be Vice-dean and Director of Research of the School of Agriculture, but he continued also as Head of Department, dividing his time between the two positions. In 1937, he resigned his position as Head of the Department to devote all his energies to his job as Director, and two years later he succeeded Dean Ralph L. Watts as Dean of the School of Agriculture on the latter's retirement. He continued to serve as Dean until his own retirement in 1946.

Professor Fletcher permitted the members of the Department of Horticulture to choose their new head, and by a large majority they chose one of their own members, Professor Warren Bryan Mack, who was then in charge of the Division of Vegetable Gardening.

Professor Mack became Head of the Department on February 1, 1937. He had already had a long and varied career in Horticulture, as well as in the field of Liberal Arts. He was born in Flicksville, Pennsylvania in 1896 and spent much of his early life on his home farm. He graduated from Lafayette College in 1915 with the Degree of Bachelor of Philosophy, taught school for a short time, and then entered the United States Army during the First World War. After the war he came to Penn State and studied in the Department of Horticulture, receiving the Degree of Bachelor of Science in 1921.

Mr. Mack then went to the Massachusetts Agricultural College as an instructor and he also studied for the Degree of Master of Science, which he was awarded in 1924. On February 1, 1923 , he was appointed as instructor in Horticulture. His first teaching work was to take charge of the practica in the elementary course in Horticulture. He was first assigned to the Division of Pomology; but when a vacancy in the Division of Vegetable Gardening soon occurred, he transferred to that Division. He later went to the John Hopkins University in Baltimore for advanced study and was awarded the Degree of Doctor of Philosophy in 1929. Upon his return to Penn State he was made Head of the Division of Vegetable Gardening, which position he maintained until he became Head of the Department.

The Division of Pomology was headed by Professor Frank Nelson Fagan for the entire period. He taught the senior courses for the entire period. He taught the senior courses in Pomology and was in charge of the College orchards. He also initiated the plan for having student practica at the College. The students were here for six weeks of the summer, receiving practical field work in the mornings and instruction and reading of bulletins in the afternoons. This plan was carried on for some years, but was terminated during the depression years of the 1930's when students were few. The several other divisions of the Department also conducted their summer practica in the same manner.

During the early years of this period the facilities for instruction were greatly enlarged. In 1917 a tract of land about half of a mile beyond the Experimental Orchard, planted by Professor Stewart, was set out to an orchard for student practice work. At that time more than 150 students were enrolled in the fruit courses. They had previously worked in the old orchard planted by Professor Waring, but it was now more than fifty years old, and a new orchard was needed for the work with students. The new planting consisted of twenty acres of apples divided into four blocks of five acres each of a different variety, with an addition of a block of peaches to be operated like a commercial planting, and of small variety blocks of apples, plums, peaches, pears, and cherries.

Some experiments in spraying and dusting and one of a test of different sources of nitrogen fertilizers were later run in this orchard in the late 1920s and early 30s. With the decline in the student enrollment at that time, it was decided to operate the orchard like a commercial one, using the best known practices in order to make it an example for other orchard men to follow. Throughout a period of about fifteen years, while it was in its prime, it had a record of apple production with several times the yields of those of average orchards in Pennsylvania. In spite of the change in its use, the orchard has been known most of the time as the Student Practice Orchard.

About 1920 another farm was purchased for the work in fruit. This one was across the road from the original orchard planted by Professor Stewart. It was named the Hiester Farm, in honor of a former trustee of the College, Gabriel Hiester, who had been a graduate of the Agricultural College in the class of 1868 and a member of the Board of Trustees from 1879 until his death in 1912. He had an orchard a few miles north of Harrisburg along the Susquehanna River, and he served in the Pennsylvania Legislature. Being an influential member of the Board, he was largely responsible for the appointment of Professor Stewart to do experimental work in Pomology among the fruit growers and for the purchase of other additional lands which were later used in fruit work.

Soon after the purchase of the Hiester Farm, which contained a house and a barn, a caretaker was appointed to look after it. He was Nelson Jones, originally a farmer from Somerset County, but later the tenant on the College Farm along Spring Creek. He moved with his family to the Hiester Farm about 1921 and remained until his retirement in 1946. One of his sons, who was also named Nelson, succeeded him to the position.

In 1923 a packing house was built for the packing of fruit, and the cellar was used as a storage for apples. The packing of fruit had previously been in the orchard, sometimes under a tent, but this method was unsatisfactory, and the packing house was a great improvement . Most of the fruit was sold locally to the townspeople, any excess being sent to the big cities and at times to other state institutions.

A grape vineyard was planted beside the residence on the Heister Farm, and some other apple plantings were made on it from time to time. Much of the land on the farm originally purchased, all of which at one time was assigned to projects on the various fields of Horticulture, proved to be unsuitable because of rocky hillsides and susceptibility to frosts, and only a small part of it has actually been used for horticultural projects. Small plots on adjoining farms purchased by the College have been used for later orchard plantings.

Professor Roy D. Anthony remained in charge of the work in Experimental Pomology during this period. He maintained for some years the cooperative orchard experiments with fruit growers in various parts of the state, most of the experiments being on soil cultural treatments and fertilizers. A few were on training and pruning. In addition, he initiated rootstock studies with the various fruits, particularly with apples, cherries, and grapes. Most of the work was on vegetatively propagated closeness. The first shipment of the now famous Malling apple stocks into the United States was made to the Pennsylvania State College in 1921 for use in one of the scientific experiments in this Department.

Another field of work developed here by Professor Anthony with successful results was that of fruit storage. For some years, beginning in 1920 and ending about 1928, a cooperative project with Louis M. Marble of Canton was undertaken in the common storage of the latter. Three men were employed for several years on full-time work to make scientific studies on the behavior of fruits and vegetables in this storage. From the results of this work Professor Anthony conceived the idea for the construction of a refrigerated cold storage with the capacity of 12,000 bushels was constructed on College land in 1932 at a total cost of $9,000, the price including the construction of a power line. This building was a pioneer of its type, and it has been a model for many other storage constructed later buy fruit growers.

During this period a carefully controlled experiment on soil treatments for apple trees was undertaken at the College. Forty-two apple trees were grown in large iron cylinders, all the soil coming from one site; the roots alike, being vegetatively propagated clones, and the tops had come from scions of one tree. These trees were surrounded by a large fence topped with barbed wire located at the edge of the College campus. This enclosure with the experiment became known as The Rims. Two runs of trees were made in this cylinders, and they provided much fundamental knowledge in the physiology of apple trees. The Departments of Agronomy and of Agricultural and Biological Chemistry cooperated in the sampling and analysis of the soil and the trees and in interpreting the results.

The orchard planted on College land by Professor J. F. Stewart in 1907 came into fruiting about 1920, and it provided an increasing amount of study and work on orchard cultural treatments. A big celebration was held in 1933, with many visiting scientists, in the year when this orchard was 25 years old; and afterward many of the treatments were changed, emphasis being made on the recovery of plots which had been in treatments that had not maintained the soil.

By 1930 some of the cooperative experiments with fruit growers had been concluded and in the depression years which followed, the rest of them were terminated, the experimental work then being confirmed to that at State College. However, in 1937, the Field Laboratory at Arendtsville in Adams County was reopened after having recently been closed, and a horticulturist, as well as an entomologist and a plant pathologist, was appointed to the staff. At this time the College did not own any land there, even leasing the building, but cooperative experiments were conducted with fruit growers and observations were made in many orchards.

Charles O. Dunbar was appointed as a horticulturist. He had been on the staff of the Connecticut State College and was a practical pomologist. Later, Nelson J. Shaulis, a graduate of Penn State in 1935, was appointed to do some of the more fundamental research work. Both men left about 1944, Mr. Dunbar to engage in a commercial enterprise in Vermont and Mr. Shaulis to take a position at the New York State Agricultural Experiment Station at Geneva. Some of the work at the laboratory was continued during the war years with temporary help.

Several other men served in the Division of Pomology during this period. Francis B. Lincoln, who was a native of northeastern Pennsylvania, his father being a successful fruit grower, was here from 1919-1923, leaving for advanced studies at the University of California. Mr. Lincoln assisted in the teaching and research work of the Department. Mr. Lincoln later engaged in a very extensive study of apple rootstocks in the 1930's at the University of Maryland.

J. Howard Waring, who was a grandson of Professor William J. Waring, the first Professor of Horticulture in the Farmers High School, served as an assistant under Professor Anthony from 1920 to 1925. He then went to the University of California to study for the Degree of Doctor of Philosophy, later going to the University of Maine and becoming Head of the Department of Horticulture there.

Ralph W. Evans came here in 1920 and served both as orchard foreman and Instructor of Pomology, teaching some of the work in fruit growing. He remained until 1926, leaving to become an orchard manager in a private enterprise.

Richard H. Sudds, a graduate of the Class of 1925, was appointed to fill the vacancy left by the departure of Mr. Waring, but he was soon transferred to assist in the teaching and to look after the work in small fruits. He did advanced work and was awarded the Degree of Doctor of Philosophy at the Ohio State University about 1933. He was for several years Secretary of the State Horticultural Association of Pennsylvania. He left in 1937 to take a position at the University of West Virginia, leaving there about twelve years later to go to the University of Connecticut.

After his departure, Harold K. Fleming was appointed to look after the same work. Mr. Fleming was a graduate of the Department in 1924, and after some years of teaching at the National Farm School near Doylestown, returned to do graduate work in vegetables, receiving the Degree of Master of Science in 1937. He remained until 1942 and then was appointed to be horticulturist at the newly established Field Laboratory in Erie County at North East, which is similar in character to the older Field Laboratory at Arendtsville. He organized many cooperative projects with fruit growers there and still continues in that position. The accent of the work is on grapes and other small fruits, but some has carried on with peaches, cherries, and apples.

The Division of Vegetable Gardening has more changes than any other division in the Department. The only two men in the division when it was established in 1919 were John R. Bechtel and John S. Gardner. Mr. Bechtel resigned in 1920 to take a position in vegetable production work with H. J. Heinz Company in Pittsburgh, and Mr. Gardner resigned at the same time. When they left, the two other men were appointed to the Division, W. C. Pelton and Charles Russell Mason. Mr. Mason was a graduate of the Class of 1917 and then served in the army in France during the First World War. He subsequently left in 1923 to engage in horticultural work in Florida. He was at that time an amateur ornithologist and some years later was appointed to be Executive Secretary of the Massachusetts Audubon Society.

Ward C. Pelton was a graduate of the Department in the Class of 1911. He worked in the Vegetable Division from 1920 to 1923, then leaving to go into Horticulture Extension work at the University of Tennessee.

In 1922 a third man was added to the Division of Vegetable Gardening. He was Frank W. Haller. He was reared on a truck farm in the suburbs of Pittsburgh, and his mother sold H. J. Heinz Company their first load of horse radish. In the course of time the advance of real estate developments crowded out the truck farm. Wishing later to engage in horticultural work again, Mr. Haller enrolled in the two-year course at Penn State. Shortly after he finished the course, the position of vegetable foreman became open through the resignation of W. B. Taylor, the preceding foreman, who had just purchased a farm near Newton. Mr. Haller came here to take the position and was given faculty rank. He served ably in this capacity for many years until his retirement in 1946. He was in charge of most of the field operations and greenhouse work in vegetables and also looked after the sale of produce. His children went to school in State College, and one of them, George L. Haller, later became Dean of the School of Chemistry and Physics.

After the departure of Professors Pelton and Mason, Mr. William T. Tapley was appointed to be in charge of the Division, and Warren B. Mack, who was originally assigned to the Division of Pomology, was transferred to the Division to assist him. Professor Tapley left about 1926, later going to the New York Agricultural Experiment Station at Geneva , where he worked on the publication of a series of volumes on the Vegetables of New York.

From 1926 to 1929, J. Howard Knott was in charge of the Division of Vegetable Gardening. At the end of this period he left to go to the University of California, where he became head of the Department of Vegetable Crops. He served in 1948 as President of the American Society for Horticultural Science.

When Professor Knott left, Professor Mack was made Head of the Division. In 1929, Gerald J. Stout became a member of the Department and was in charge of much of the teaching work in the Division until 1943. He had graduated from Michigan State College and after a period of study at Ohio State was awarded the Degree of Doctor of Philosophy in 1933. During the war years he served in the Extension Service of the Pennsylvania State College and then left in 1947 to take a teaching position at the University of Florida.

Several other men served as assistants or instructors in this Division during this period. Among them, A. P. Tuttle served from 1928 to 1930. E. P. Brasher, who had come from the University of Missouri, served from 1930 to 1932, working also for an advanced degree. Some years later he became head of the Department of Horticulture at the University of Delaware. Elisha M. Rahn, a graduate of the Class of 1933, was appointed in 1938 and remained until 1943, leaving to operate his home farm during the war. He was appointed to the faculty of the University of Delaware.

For several years after his appointment as Head of the Department, Professor Mack continued to administer the affairs in the Division of Vegetables Gardening himself. In the early years of the Second World War, the demands on the time of the members of this division were greatly increased, their services being needed for instruction and advice in connection with the many war-time gardens being operated throughout the state. With the resignation of Mr. Rahn and the transfer of Professor Stout to extension work, two new men were therefore brought into the Department.

The first of these was Martin L. Odland, who was a graduate of the University of Minnesota , where he had received the Degrees of both Bachelor of Science and a Doctor of Philosophy. His major specialty was Horticulture, and his minor specialty, Plant Genetics. He was on the staff of the University of Connecticut from 1938 to 1943, coming here in 1943 to take charge of the work in research and instruction in Vegetable Gardening.

The second man was Russell E. Larson, also a graduate of the University of Minnesota, where he had also received the Degrees of Bachelor of Science and Doctor of Philosophy. He had specialized in genetics and plant breeding. His work upon his arrival in 1943 was largely with field trials of new and commercial varieties of vegetables in different parts of the state.

Most of the research work in vegetables was done on the farms at the Pennsylvania State College. The area originally assigned to vegetable work was just east of the College campus, both north and south of the old horse barn. The land had been treated with the manure from the barns for many years and was in general very fertile. As the building construction program crowded the plots during the 1920's and early 1930's, the vegetable work was transferred to other available land about a half mile east of campus, where much of the work is still being performed.

The facilities for vegetable work were rather meager. Besides a limited amount of space in the greenhouse and in an adjacent shed, the only other building used for this work was a storage cellar. This building was constructed about 1920 and was set into a bank, also being covered with several feet of soil, which acted as insulation. This storage was widely publicized at the time of its construction. It is still being used jointly by the Department of Agronomy and Horticulture.

Instruction in vegetable work was given to many students. While comparatively few students specialized in vegetable growing, the number generally running between two and four a year, many students scheduled the elementary course. Student gardens continued to be a regular feature of the work of instruction. They were and are still located just north of the old greenhouse built in 1910. At one time the produce planted was utilized by town people, but in more recent years the gardens failed to be cared for, and they are usually destroyed after the close of the spring semester.

The research program was largely concentrated on the College farms. The experimental work was chiefly in the field of nutrition, particularly with fertilizers and their placement and with irrigation. Tests of vegetable varieties were run annually, the observations being for purity, germination, and field behavior. The results were generally published each fall in mimeographed form and distributed to interested people.

The work of the Division of Plant Breeding grew out of the early strain tests of vegetables. Professor Charles E. Myers was responsible for the early work in this field. He was appointed as the first assistant to Professor Watts after his graduation from Penn State in 1908 and served the College until his retirement in 1943. He was awarded the degree of Doctor of Philosophy at Cornell University in 1920 after a year of study at that institution in the field of genetics.

Throughout most of this period a course in Plant Breeding was included and required of all students in the curriculum in Horticulture. To make the study of genetics more real, the students were required to breed fruit flies and study several hereditary characters, such as color of eyes and character of the wings. The students reared their own flies in small bottles, feeding them on bananas and yeast. An advanced course in Plant Breeding was offered to interested seniors and graduate students.

In 1923 an assistant was secured for Professor Myers. He was Milton Tichener Lewis, who graduated from Cornell University in that year. He came to Penn State to work toward the degree of Master of Science and assisted in the teaching and other work of the Division. In later years he was engaged in many of the research investigations of the Division, particularly working with lettuce and sweet corn and with the rust-resistant types of snapdragons. He succeeded Professor Myers as head of the Division upon the latter's retirement in 1943.

Several outstanding vegetable varieties were introduced by the Division. One was the Penn State Ballhead cabbage. It was a selection from a plant growing in one of the trials in 1912 and was introduced by Francis C. Stokes in 1926. It was given the All-America Silver Award in 1934. Several tomato varieties were also introduced. They were: Penn State Earliana, introduced by Francis C. Stokes in 1926; Matchum, which was a cross between Matchless and Hummer, introduced by the Schell Seed Company in 1929; Penn State, a very early variety introduced by the Schell Seed Company in 1935 and receiving the All-America Bronze Award in 1936; and Pennheart, introduced by the Schell Seed Company in 1944. It is also very early, producing big yields, and now composes about half the crop in the Imperial Valley in California.

For some years after the Division of Floriculture was established, Professor Earle I. Wilde was the only faculty member of this division. An elementary course in Floriculture was taught to all students in the Department, and several advanced courses were offered to students specializing in this field. In the middle 1920's this Division was second to that of Pomology in the number of students graduating in it in the Department. Summer practica of six weeks were given in the greenhouses and flower gardens to students at the end of their Junior years.

In 1928 Alfred L. Cooke was employed as an assistant to Professor Wilde. He had graduated from Penn State in 1922 and had worked with his father in a commercial florist's enterprise in Pittsburgh. He assisted in the teaching and other work in the Division of Floriculture. Probably the highlight of his career here was his marriage, the ceremony of which was held on the lawn among the flower gardens near the greenhouse. In 1937 Mr. Cooke's father died, and Mr. Cooke soon left to look after his commercial florist's business.

On February 1, 1938, he was succeeded by Conrad B. Link. Mr. Link had received his training at Ohio State University. He remained on the staff until August 31, 1945, being on leave for part of that time for service in the United States Army. He left to take a position on the staff of the Brooklyn Botanic Gardens, subsequently going to the University of Maryland to be in charge of the work in Floriculture there.

Another member of the staff was John R. Culbert, who had come from the University of Illinois. He assisted in the teaching and research work of the Department from September 10, 1939 until September 1, 1946. One of his major jobs was the fitting of a unit of a new greenhouse for work in growing plants in culture solutions. He served in the United States Army for two years and both his legs were broken during a battle for the Island of Guam. After his return from military service, he resumed his duties for a short time and then left to take a position at the University of Illinois.

In 1931 a sub-division was made in the work of Floriculture. One part was that of greenhouse plants, and the other was that of outdoor ornamental plants. Both sub-divisions were in charge of Professor Wilde. In that year Robert Peter Meahl was appointed to the staff as Instructor of Nursery Industry. He was a graduate of Purdue University in Indiana. In the Department here he taught courses in plant materials. A nursery for ornamental trees and shrubs was soon established to give the students practice in growing and handling these materials. This nursery was located on land just south of the poultry buildings. It was neglected during the war years, and part of it was destroyed by the construction of dormitories in the post-war period. Mr. Meahl remained in charge of this work until the war, when he was on leave for military service, again resuming his duties at the close of the war.

In the 1920's the work of instruction in Floriculture was almost entirely that in greenhouse crops; but with the arrival of Mr. Meahl in 1931, instruction in the outdoor ornamental plants was added to the curriculum. Instruction in nursery work was also provided.

The greenhouse constructed in 1910 was shared with the Division of Vegetable Gardening, and that was the only one available until the first unit of a new range was completed in 1937. It was the first of four units now located just behind the present Plant Industries Building. It was designated as a research greenhouse, being shared with several other divisions. The first floricultural project was one on the nutrition of the rose. Another unit of these greenhouses was completed about 1942, and one section of it was fitted for work in water culture of plants, the water being applied to gravel, which was used as the medium to anchor the roots.

In the early years of this period very little research work in Floriculture was attempted, as Professor Wilde's time was fully occupied in instruction and in developing and looking after the ornamental gardens in the lawn south of the greenhouses. One of the best known features of these gardens was the rose garden, which was enclosed with a hedge of roses, and in which were many beds of popular varieties. The plantings of iris and peonies made quite a display and were often at the height of their bloom in Commencement time in June. In the late 1930's new gardens were established in several plots east and southeast of the present Plant Industries Building. In addition to new variety trials, the rose plots were also designed for the study of the effects of soil treatments and fertilizer applications on the growth and flower production of the rose bushes.

In 1936 a very attractive trial garden of annual flowering plants was initiated. This garden was originally located just east of the present Plant Industries Building, but the construction of new greenhouses on that area caused the removal of the garden to a larger area farther east along the highway and north of the poultry buildings. The present location covers about an acre and attracts many visitors through the summer. For this garden the seedsmen send seeds of their best new varieties of annual flowers. These are planted under number and are judged at a special flower Field Day by seedsmen from all over the country. This garden is one of several established in different parts of the United States. Those flowers judged to be the best in all the different trial gardens are honored by being named as All-America selections.

Selections of many different species of flowers are being tested. Besides the still unnamed varieties, many of the best of the recent introductions are on display, and these are labeled. The species which have been most extensively tested and exhibited are zinnias, marigolds, asters, calendulas, alyssum, petunias, phlox, nasturtiums, snapdragons, coxcomb, and spider flowers.

The curriculum in Landscape Gardening, which was first offered in 1910, was under the direction of Professor Cowell until 1926. The curriculum became popular, with many students enrolling in it through the 1920's, although the number dropped off somewhat during the depression years. The number of those graduating in 1916 was 5; in 1920, 6; in 1925, 12; in 1930, 10; in 1935, 12; and in 1940, about 5.

In 1926 Professor Cowall resigned to devote his time to private practice, and Professor John R. Bracken was appointed to replace him. Professor Bracken was a graduate of the Department of Horticulture in the Class of 1914. He was employed in private organizations for some years after graduation, but returned in 1923 to take charge of the extension work at the College in that field. When the vacancy in the Division occurred, he was transferred to fill that place.

The Division was known as Landscape Gardening until about 1920, and then it was named Landscape Art. In 1926 the name was again changed to Landscape Architecture, by which it was known until the early 1940's.

One of the first instructors appointed to assist Professor Cowell was Hilbert E. Dahl, who came here in 1924. He took over much of the undergraduate instruction, particularly of the elementary courses. Mr. Dahl remained until 1927, when he left to engage in private practice. Then Mr. C. A. M. Sorg came to teach some of the work in plant materials and other phases of ornamental horticulture. Mr. Sorg remained for about two years; and at his departure the number of students was such that two men were appointed to work in the Division. One was Carl W. Wild, who taught drawing and designing. The other was Homer K. Dodge, a graduate of the Department in 1929, who remained until 1931. He then left to take a position in Massachusetts, where he has since become a national authority in the field of landscape design. In 1931 G. Harry Bowen was engaged to teach the outdoor work in plant materials to students in this Division. He was a graduate of McGill University in Montreal, Canada.

The curriculum in Landscape Architecture was professional; the students received all the instruction necessary for them to be fully accredited by national professional organizations. The work of the Division flourished for some years, but in the late 1930's the number of students dropped off on account of the depression and lack of opportunity to obtain good positions. After the United States entered the Second World War, instruction in this field was discontinued for several years. Professor Carl Wild was transferred to help teach drawing in the School of Engineering. Eventually he left the employment of the College to engage in private work. Professor Bowen was engaged for a while in war-time activities. One of his jobs was to take charge of a project in collecting milkweed pods. The floss was used in life preservers on naval vessels. After the war he left to take a position at the University of Kentucky.

Professor Bracken remained for a while to work on a development of plans for the College Farms. Later he went to undertake graduate student at Michigan State College, where he was later awarded the degree of Doctor of Philosophy. After the war he returned to resume the teaching of landscape work at Penn State.

The trees and shrubs on the campus have long served as a laboratory for students in Landscape Architecture. Many rare plants are being grown on the campus, along with the more common native species. The responsibility of planning and caring for the grounds of the Farmers High School and Pennsylvania State College and University has for long periods been that of the Department of Horticulture. The grounds were laid out for the Farmers High School by Professor Waring, the school's first horticulturist. After some years of neglect, the care of the grounds became the job of the Superintendent of Farms, who was W. C. Patterson from 1872 to 1909.

A Department of Grounds and Buildings was organized in 1918 under the direction of R. I. Webber, who became superintendent. In 1924 the Board of Trustees desired to develop the landscape development of the College, and Professor Cowell was designated to work with and carry out the instructions of a hired consulting landscape architect, Warren H. Manning, of Boston, and of an advisory committee appointed by the Board. The carrying out of the plans was the immediate job of the Department of Grounds and Buildings.

Since 1930 the work of maintenance of the campus has been under the supervision of Walter W. Trainer, who was a graduate of the Department of Horticulture in 1923. He worked with a private firm until his appointment as Supervisor of Landscape Construction on February 3, 1930. While his work is under the Department of Grounds and Buildings, he was also appointed to be Associate Professor of Landscape Construction, and has been considered to be a member of the Department of Horticulture, working closely with it. The care of the golf course and the athletic fields has been under his supervision since 1932, and in 1944 the maintenance of the farm properties came also under his care.

From the time of its beginning until the late 1930's, the research work of the Department of Horticulture was almost entirely along purely and practical horticulture lines. Since the finances of the School of Agriculture, as well as those of the whole College, were very limited, both Dean Watts and Dean Fletcher thought that in order to make the best use of the School's resources, chemical studies of plants should be made by the Department of Agricultural and Biological Chemistry, and studies of soils should be made by the Department of Agronomy. Similarly, studies of insect control were made largely by entomologists in the Department of Zoology, and studies of plant diseases and their control were made largely by plant pathologists in the Department of Botany.

Then in 1938, for administrative reasons, Dr. Walter Thomas, who had been Professor of Phytochemistry in the Department of Agricultural and Biological Chemistry, was transferred to the Department of Horticulture, where he was given the title of Professor of Plant Nutrition. Professor Thomas had at his disposal the large and well equipped chemical laboratory which he had long used in the old Agricultural Experiment Station Building. When that building was remodeled, he moved into one of the chemical laboratories on the top floor of the Agriculture Building, which had been abandoned by the Department of Agricultural and Biological Chemistry when it moved into the newly completed Frear Laboratory.

Professor Thomas had a long career in chemistry and plant analysis. He was a native of Wales and a graduate in 1905 of the University of Wales. A few years later he came to Canada and worked for a time for the Canadian Department of Agriculture. In 1910 he met at a banquet in Washington the late Dr. William Frear, who was Professor of Agricultural Chemistry and Vice-Director of the Agricultural Experiment Station. The two became acquainted and soon the then Mr. Thomas came to Penn State to become Professor Frear's assistant, helping him in his classes in meteorology and plant physiology.

The two men were closely associated until Professor Frear's death in 1922. In their conversations they conceived the idea that the condition of a plant was the result of things happening in the plant itself and not of what was in the soil. From this idea developed the work of analysis of leaves to determine whether they could be used as an index for the nutritional status of plants. The results of many years of foliar diagnosis have confirmed their belief and also the concept of chemical balance in plant nutrition.

Professor Thomas had worked for a while in the 1920's on the Apple tree fertilizer project known as "the rims," in which apple trees were grown in large iron cylinders and were treated with several combinations of nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium fertilizer applications. Both Professor Mack, who had recently been appointed as Head of the Department of Horticulture, and Professor Thomas were interested in continuing this type of fundamental research with vegetable plants. Together they completed many joint investigations on the nutrition of vegetable crops, and their work might be considered to be one of the major research accomplishments of the Department. Eventually their investigations were expanded to include other elements than the three most important major elements, and considerable work has more recently been done with the trace elements.

For part of the time Professor Thomas worked by himself, and at times he had the assistance of other men. One of these men was Robert H. Cotton, who came to study for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy. He assisted Professor Thomas for several years beginning in 1940. He later worked for a time in the Ellen H. Richards Institute, which was headed by Dr. Pauline Beery Mack, and then he went to work for the Holly Sugar Corporation in Colorado Springs.

Through the period between the two World Wars, the program of instruction remained relatively constant. When the curriculum of the School of Agriculture was revised in 1908, common studies were established for the Freshmen and Sophomore years. In the Junior and Senior years the students were under the control of the Departments which they had chosen for their specialties. After a few years the Department of Forestry broke away and established its own four-year curriculum. The other departments continued for the most part with the two common years until the mid-1920's, at which time each department established its own four-year curriculum.

During the period of the two common years, an elementary course, known as Horticulture I, was required of nearly all students in the School of Agriculture. This course was abolished when the separate four-year curricula were established. Students enrolled in other departments and who wished instruction in Horticulture usually scheduled the introductory course in fruit growing and the one in vegetable growing, or any other courses which they desired. In the late 1930's at the request of the Department of Agricultural Education, the elementary course in General Horticulture was restored and has been taught ever since. For some years the lectures were given by the head of the Department, and the laboratory periods were under the direction of the different divisions of the Department.

In order to stimulate interest in Horticulture early in the curriculum and because many students were unable to remain for more than one or two years, it was thought advisable to introduce some horticultural work the first year. One course, usually that in plant propagation, has been regularly given during the Freshman year. Introductory courses in each of the major fields of Horticulture have been required during the Sophomore and Junior years. In the Senior year the students specialized in their chosen field. For many years all the students in Horticulture were required to spend six weeks at the close of the junior year in field work and instruction in the orchards or gardens of the Department. This six week summer practicum was one of the real high points of the program of instruction.

The relations between the students and the faculty in the Department of Horticulture have always been good. Under both Professor Fletcher and Professor Mack two student-faculty parties have been sponsored every year, on in the fall and one in the spring. In these parties food was provided and often took the form of hot dogs cooked outdoors over an open fire, cider in its season, and other products of the Department. Several parties were served on tables in the headhouse of the old greenhouse and consisted of regular dinners of products from the College Farms. In the spring parties, baseball games were often played, soft balls being generally used.

Through this period graduate work was encouraged. Many of the younger members of the staff took graduate courses and in two or more years of time were able to fulfill the requirements for the degree of Master of Science. Part-time assistantships were available once in a while for students interested in graduate work. For the most part only work leading to the degree of Master of Science was offered, but in a few special cases students were permitted to work towards the degree of Doctor of Philosophy, usually doing some of their studies in other advanced scientific courses, such as chemistry, botany, and agronomy. Probably the first student who received this degree in Horticulture was Lai-yung Li, a graduate of Lingnan University in Canton, China, who was awarded the degree in 1941.

The Department also provided instruction for many groups besides regular students. For many years, students in the winter courses, which ran at first for twelve weeks, beginning in December and then for eight weeks during January and February, were given instruction in Horticulture. During the 1920's and much of the 1930's a one-week course was given to practical fruit growers and for a while to vegetable growers. These courses were at first given in the late fall and were subsequently moved to dates in the winter. The Division of Floriculture initiated short courses of instruction and field days in greenhouse and nursery work.

The instructional program was also furthered by the Student Clubs. For some years the Crabapple Club was the horticultural student club. In the early years most of the students majored in work in fruit, and the programs were largely in that field. Prominent alumni who were engaged in commercial or scientific horticultural work were often invited as speakers. In the late 1920's the number of students interested in Floriculture had greatly increased, and the Crabapple Club was divided into several sections to represent the different fields represented. By the beginning of the Second World War, the Crabapple Club informally had passed out of existence. The Vegetable Gardening Club was active during the war period, meetings being held at the homes of different members of the faculty.

For several years the work in photography, which had been started by Professor Watts, was under the direction of the Department of Horticulture. When the Horticulture Building was completed, this work was housed on the top floor of the building. The first photographer seems to have been a Mr. Kirk. He was away during the period of the First World War, returning afterward for a while. In July, 1920, his place was taken by C. B. Neblette, who taught courses in the subject and was on the staff of the Department as Instructor of Photography. After Mr. Neblette resigned in 1923, the work in photography came under the direction of the administration of the School of Agriculture, although the work continued to be performed in the same place.

When the Horticulture Building was first occupied, it was used wholly by the Department of Horticulture. However, the expansion of other departments developed without any additional space for them, and in the course of time some of the rooms in the Horticulture Building were occupied by other departments. Probably the first other department to occupy the building was that of Agricultural Chemistry, which had a rat laboratory for the study of nutrition by or before 1920.

In 1921 the building was almost lost by a fire in the rat laboratory. On the afternoon of October 28, Miss Emma Francis, who was Assistant Professor of Agricultural Chemistry and in charge of the laboratory, was warming ether. The flask cracked, and then the bottom fell out while Miss Francis was carrying it to the sink. The volatile of ether caught fire, the flames shooting all over the room. Miss Francis was burned but subsequently recovered; another woman in the room, Miss Julia Althouse, escaped unharmed. The fire burned off the roof and much of the top floor. The firemen were fortunately able to prevent the spread of the fire to the floors below. Classes scheduled in the building were transferred to available rooms in other buildings, but most of the offices could still be used while repairs were being made.

By 1930 five departments besides Horticulture were housed in the Horticulture Building: Agricultural Economics in a large room on the first floor, Poultry Husbandry in a large room on the second floor, an office of the Head of the Department of Agricultural Engineering on the same floor, offices for the Department of Agricultural Education on the third floor, and the rat laboratory and photography laboratories on the top floor. At the end of the 1930's the crowded situation was relieved somewhat by the completion of several other agricultural buildings; only the Departments of Horticulture, Agricultural Economics, and Poultry Husbandry, besides the work in photography, were then housed in the building. When some of the personnel left to engage in war work, several rooms were vacant until the close of the war.

During the war, the work of the instruction was rearranged to take care of the fewer students and the accelerated program of the College. Instead of the usual vacation periods, the College remained in session throughout the year. Three semesters a year were scheduled, each lasting for sixteen weeks. Many students entered college but remained for only one or a few semesters before becoming drafted for military service. Most of the graduate work in the Department of Horticulture was dropped for lack of students. Some of the more specialized undergraduate courses were also dropped, and others were given infrequently. The more elementary courses were generally offered in two of the three semesters each year.

Three men in the department left for the duration of the war for military service. They were Professor Robert P. Meahl, Mr. Conrad Link, and Mr. John R. Culbert, all engaged in Ornamental Horticulture. Professor Wilde was the one left in the Department in his division. Instruction in Landscape Architecture was discontinued, and Professors Carl Wild and G. Harry Bowan were transferred to teaching and other duties in connection with the war-time activities. The great need for help with war gardens throughout the state caused Professor Mack to devote most of his time to that work. Professor Stout was transferred to extension work, and Mr. Rahn left to operate his home farm. Two new men were then added to help with the vegetable work, Professor Martin L. Odland and Russell E. Larson. In the Division of Plant Breeding, Professor C. E. Myers retired in 1943, not having been in good health for some years, and Professor Lewis carried the work himself for a while.

In the Division of Pomology Mr. Harold K. Fleming left in 1942 to be the horticulturalist in a new field research station being established at North East in Erie County, where the work was largely with small fruits. The rest of the Division was engaged in looking after the College orchards, three large crops being harvest in 1942, 1943, and 1944; the 1945 crop was a total loss because of killing frosts. Much of the field work was performed by older men, some of whom were past seventy and even eighty years of age. The three big fruit crops were packed largely by women.

The war ended in the summer of 1945, and students began to return to the campus. The number reached flood tide in 1946, and the work of the Department of Horticulture was ready for a renewal at this time.

Department of Plant Science


102 Tyson Building
University Park, PA 16802

Department of Plant Science


102 Tyson Building
University Park, PA 16802