The first cookbook that was published in 1176 contained a recipe for watermelon rind pickles.
The Burpee company was founded in Philadelphia in 1876 by W. Atlee Burpee, an 18-year-old with a passion for plants and animals and a mother willing to lend him $1000 of "seed money" to get started in business. Although it began as a livestock company, within 25 years Burpee had developed the largest, most progressive seed company in America. By 1915 Burpee was mailing a million catalogs a year to America's gardeners.
Burpee is still a family seed company and still in the Philadelphia area. Today Burpee is owned and operated by George Ball Jr.