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Home>Vegetable Seeds>Tomato>Pink & Purple
Radiator Charlie's Mortgage Lifter Tomato
'Radiator Charlie's Mortgage Lifter' tomatoes.
Radiator Charlie's Mortgage Lifter Tomato
Item Id: 3400141 review

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Radiator Charlie's Mortgage Lifter Slow Food USA - Ark of Taste Certified Naturally Grown Seed

85 days, indeterminate — Although most merchants simply call it 'Mortgage Lifter', 'Radiator Charlie's Mortgage Lifter' is probably the most well known of the "mortgage lifter" varieties. It has been a popular variety in the Logan, West Virginia area since it was introduced in the 1940s[2] and got international attention when its seed was introduced to gardeners in the mid-1980s. The regular leaf vines produce fruits that are large, over a pound each, pink in color, and one of the best flavored beefsteaks available.

The legend surrounding this tomato is that it was bred by Marshall Cletis Byles,[1] who preferred to be called "MC" or simply Charlie.[2] For several years he crossed 'German Johnson', 'Beefsteak', with undisclosed English and Italian varieties, selecting the largest specimens. It is said that he then sold plants for one dollar each and paid off his mortgage in six years.

Seeds were supplied to Dr. Jeff McCormack, founder of SESE, and released by him commercially in 1985.[2] Each packet contains approximately 20 seeds.

  1. Marshall Cletis (M. C. or "Radiator Charlie") Byles was born on March 4, 1900 and passed away at the age of 89 on August 4, 1989. [Source: Social Security Death Index]
  2. "Mortgage Lifter Tomatoes," Living On Earth® - Public Radio International's Environmental News Magazine, September 23, 2005 air date.
  3. "Epic Tomatoes: How To Select and Grow the Best Varieties of All Time," Craig LeHoullier, Storey Publishing, 2015, pages 62-63.
Customer Reviews Average Rating review
The largest, best tomatoes I've ever grown!
Mortgage Lifter tomatoes are the only variety of tomato I grow. After years of "trying" to grow a good 'ole timey' tomato, I've finally found one! I actually grew one last year that was almost 2 lbs! P.S. all my Mortgage Lifter seeds purchased from Victory came up! 100%!
Reviewed by: Craig Bailey from Pace, FL. on 5/22/2012
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