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Home>Vegetable Seeds>Pea, Garden
Alderman (Tall Telephone) Pea
Alderman or Tall Telephone Pea
Alderman (Tall Telephone) Pea
Item Id: 3300211

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$2.35
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Description
Alderman (Tall Telephone)
75 days — A very old English variety, 'Alderman', also known as 'Tall Telephone', is a main crop garden pea.  It does require support as it will climb to about six feet in height.  The pods are large (up to four inches), maturing five to nine peas each. Very productive and good for fresh eating or freezing.

The history and pedigree of 'Alderman' is a bit sketchy.  This is not uncommon when researching very old varieties but here are the facts that we do know.  In 1878, Carter's of London, England released a variety called 'Telephone' that was a sport of the older variety, 'Telegraph'. There was a lot of variability in 'Telephone's' genetics.  At the time that it was introduced into the United States, light-colored pods were popular. But as public preferences changed in favor of darker pods, growers started selecting seed stock from the darker-podded variants of 'Telephone'.

Then in 1892, Thomas Laxton of Bedford, England released 'Alderman'.  It possesses many of the same characteristics as 'Telephone' but appeared to be more uniform.  W. Atlee Burpee introduced it into the U.S. market in 1901.

By the mid-1930s, 'Alderman' had nearly replaced 'Telephone' or was being marketed as 'Dark-Podded Telephone', 'Tall Telephone', or simply as 'Telephone' with no apologies.  By the way, the word "Tall" was added to the name in the early part of the 20th Century simply to distinguish it from a variety that had been introduced called, 'Dwarf Telephone'.

History aside, it is pretty safe to say that at this date, the original 'Telephone' is now long gone.  Each packet contains one ounce, which is approximately 110 seeds and generally enough to plant at least a ten foot row.

Sources:
  1. "Descriptions of Types of Principal American Varieties of Garden Peas," USDA Misc. Publication No. 170, 1934
  2. "Vegetables of New York: Peas," U. P. Hedrick, New York A. E. S., 1928
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