The Nation: Mrs. Vonk's Victory

Some problems—unlike the squaring of the circle or the conversion of the Chinese—do have a solution. So David Burpee, 82, has finally discovered. All his life, Burpee has been devoted to the task of making a better marigold. As chief of the W. Atlee Burpee mail-order seed company from 1915 to 1970, Burpee found ways to invent new varieties large and small, but his main quest was for a pure white marigold, one that could be cross-pollinated with existing yellow, orange, and rust varieties to create a rainbow of new colors. In 1954, Burpee made a public offer of $10,000 for...

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