Fusion: Deakin Exhibits Online

The value in aesthetics

Law, Somner Pty. Ltd. seed merchants and nurserymen : [catalogue]

Law, Somner & Co stationary pre 1926

Courtesy of Australian Postal History and Social Philately

Postal orders have long represented a convenient mode of trade for seed purveyors. Long before online shopping and in an era absent of trade restrictions or biological hazard laws, for national and international trade, Law, Somner & Co, and others like them prospered due to the humble postal order.

Their envelopes though, were extraordinary and offer a study of their own. This beautiful pre-printed envelope from Law, Somner & Co was sent to Mr Luther Burbank (1849-1926), a prominent American botanist, horticulturist and a pioneer in agricultural science.

Law, Somner Pty. Ltd. seed merchants and nurserymen : [catalogue]

Luther Burbank as he appeared in a 1948 print ad for Budweiser Beer.




Burbank was one of the most prolific horticulturists in history, responsible for over 800 new strains and varieties of plants. These include the Santa Rosa Plum, the Burbank Potato, the Shasta Daisy, and the Spineless Cactus. His legacy is vast and he is remembered as a pioneer in plant manipulation. He featured on an American stamp and his portrait was painted by Freda Kohl. Here his image featured as part of an advertisement.