The misinformation and mislabeling of pears is common - Ayer of Kansas is not Ayers or Tenn of the University of Tennesse pears

Nurseries are not intentionally mislabeling pears and individuals are not either. Regardless the problem is more common than ever so i will try to clear up some of the confusion since i do actually know the differences. @Fusion_power is putting together a document on pears with information i have given him in the past. Additionally he is now growing more pears than ever. Let me start by discussing the most commonly mislabeled pear the ayers pear. The photos below in this thread are ayers.

@stan @wfwalton @mayhaw9999 grow many pears and are like me trying to clear up the confusion

Ayers and Tenn came out of the University of Tennessee breeding program. Both can have a slightly off flavor. Tenn is more that way than ayers. Most years ayers is juicy and dripping and delicious with one side very red in appearance that is exposed to the sun. A well pruned tree with an open center the pears could be all red.

Ayer, Estella, and Douglas were bred by the ayers family of Sibley Kansas in the 1800s that later moved to Douglas County Kansas where Lawrence is located. That is where the douglas pear gets its name. They produced more pears than that which were lost to time.

A few points of interest the tennousi pear is not tenn. My understandi is there are at least 2 tennousi. One is really bad tasting and one is pretty good. Dr. Natelson of Texas was the last hope for many Southern pears which he donated to the USDA ARS Grin collectionany years ago. @Lucky_P was another enthusiast who knew some of the original fruit tree collectors. @scottfsmith has many times been able to clarify information through his many years of experience growing pears. I want to point out he has fruited nearly lost varities such as grand champion which will try your patience 20+ years sometimes until it fruits.

Normally good nurseries not known to mislabel like starks have mislabeled ayers Ayers Pear Tree - Stark Bro’s

Im not calling them out only pointing out a repeated mistake many nurseries make

Ayers is no chance seedling from Kansas but ayer is. I picked one of the best known nurseries to prove a point. Kansas is also not the south. Ayers is in fact a southern pear. The description discusses 2 totally different pears as if they were one pear.

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I’m getting to my point about the ayers pear. Where did the name come from your likely asking.

Ayres-Brown

"

Brown Ayres

1856–1919

Born in Memphis, Brown Ayres attended Washington and Lee and transferred to the Stevens Institute of Technology where he received the BS in engineering in 1878. Johns Hopkins granted him a fellowship in physics in 1879–80. By 1888 he had earned the PhD from Stevens. At Stevens, Ayres was especially interested in electricity and became personally acquainted with Thomas Alva Edison and Alexander Graham Bell. He was offered a position with Bell’s fledgling telephone company, but he declined in favor of pursuing an academic career.

In 1880 Ayres accepted the post of professor of Physics and Electrical Engineering at Tulane. He became dean of the College of Technology in 1894 and was vice chairman of faculty and dean of the Academic College in 1900. Continuing his interest in electricity, he served as a member of the Jury of Electricity at the Columbian (1893), Atlanta (1895), and Nashville (1897) Expositions. When the UT trustees were seeking a new president in 1904, Ayres was serving as acting president of Tulane. The trustees elected Dr. C. Alphonso Smith, associate professor of English at the University of North Carolina, to succeed President Dabney. But after visiting the institution in July 1904, Smith declined.

Dabney had written a letter to trustee Edward Sanford recommending Ayres, pointing out that Ayres had been strongly considered for the presidency at Tulane and had recently declined the presidency of the University of Alabama. Ayres was not a stranger to the university. He had been on the faculty of UT’s first (1902) Summer School of the South and had been offered a position with the university the same year.

Ayres served as UT president from 1904 until his death on January 28, 1919. During his administration, the university received its first $1 million appropriation (1917) from the legislature.

Ayres received many honors during his career. He was awarded LLD degrees from Washington and Lee University (1894), South Carolina College (1905), Tulane University (1905), and the University of Alabama (1916). He served as president of the Association of Colleges and Preparatory Schools of the Southern States (1904–5), president of the National Association of State Universities (1909–10), and vice president (having declined the presidency) of the Association of Land-Grant Colleges of the United States. He was a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and belonged to the American Institute of Electrical Engineers, American Physical Society, Association for the Promotion of Engineering Education, Phi Beta Kappa, and Phi Kappa Phi. He married (1881) Kate Allen Anderson of Lexington, Virginia. The Ayres had three sons and five daughters.

  • Written by Betsey B. Creekmore

Citation Information

The following information is provided for citations.

  • TitleBrown Ayres
  • Coverage1856–1919
  • AuthorBetsey B. Creekmore
  • KeywordsBrown Ayres
  • Website NameVolopedia
  • PublisherUniversity of Tennessee Libraries
  • URLhttps://volopedia.lib.utk.edu/entries/brown-ayres/
  • Access DateFebruary 12, 2024
  • Original Published DateSeptember 24, 2018
  • Date of Last UpdateMarch 1, 2019"

Sometimes you cant catch a break in life or death Ayres, not Ayers: Tale of a Troubling Transposition — Our Tennessee

" Ayres, Not Ayers: Tale Of A Troubling Transposition

January 31, 2011

Ayres, not Ayers: Tale of a Troubling Transposition

By Elizabeth A. Davis and Betsey Creekmore

It’s easy to mistake the spelling of Ayres Hall. In fact, a plaque installed on the building itself in 1921 proclaimed Ayers instead of Ayres.

Ayres Hall is named for Dr. Brown Ayres, UT president from 1904 until his death in 1919. During his tenure, Ayres was credited with vastly improving the quality of the university.

The misspelled plaque gave rise to the myth that Ayres was not the candidate the UT trustees meant to name as president, but that is simply not correct.

The Board of Trustees began a search for a new president in 1903 after then-president Charles Dabney announced he was leaving UT to become president of the University of Cincinnati. In an interesting twist, at Cincinnati Dabney succeeded Howard Ayers, who was then nominated for the UT presidency. UT trustee Edward Terry Sanford acknowledged the nomination on April 2, 1904, as that of “Ayres [sic] of Cincinnati,” giving impetus to the confused legend.

But Alphonso C. Smith of the University of North Carolina, not Howard Ayers, was elected UT president. Smith visited UT on July 13, however, and declined the presidency.

The search committee then recommended a member of the faculty be elected to a 1-year term as acting president. At the Board of Trustees meeting on July 20, 1904, that recommendation was supplanted by the nomination of Brown Ayres by a Board of Trustees member. Historians believe Sanford had a letter from former president Dabney proposing and endorsing Brown Ayres, who was then dean of the faculty at Tulane University.

The trustees voted to accept Brown Ayres of Tulane on July 20, but due to the small number of trustees present, postponed the election until August 2, when Ayres was present to be chosen by unanimous vote.

Brown Ayres was born in Memphis and earned a doctorate in physics from the Stevens Institute of Technology in New Jersey. Because of his interest in electricity, he met Thomas Edison and Alexander Graham Bell and was offered a job with Bell’s company. Ayres declined Bell’s offer because he wanted to pursue teaching. He secured a professorship at Tulane University, where he rose through the administrative ranks to become acting president. He had just declined the presidency of the University of Alabama when UT’s job offer arrived.

Ayres died suddenly in 1919, 2 years after the university fought for and received $1 million in appropriations from the state to construct three buildings, including those that became Ayres Hall on the Hill and Morgan Hall on the agriculture campus.

Ayres’ successor as president of the university, Harcourt Morgan, recommended naming the new academic building on the Hill for Ayres, since Ayres had envisioned a central academic building and had worked closely with the architects to design it.

The misspelling of Ayres’ name on the building plaque remains a mystery. The Ayres Hall and Morgan Hall plaques were to be the same. The plaque at Morgan Hall correctly spells Ayres’ name. The Ayres plaque, however, misspells the name.

The mystery of the misspelling of Ayres rests with the Chicago Ornamental Iron Works, the firm that cast the plaques. Architects Miller, Fullenwider & Dowling ordered the two plaques at the same time, with the lists of names to be identical. The raised likeness of Ayres was unacceptable, and Knoxville artist Lloyd Branson provided information transmitted by Morgan about how the likeness should be modified. Several exchanges of correspondence ensued, and Miller, Fullenwider & Dowling finally approved the plaques for the two buildings. On October 18, 1921, Morgan wrote to Miller, Fullenwider & Dowling, “The blueprints for the bronze tablets were received yesterday. The names are spelled correctly.”

When the plaques arrived, they were installed, and for whatever reason, the incorrect Ayres plaque was not replaced in 1921 and remains today as an interesting quirk in UT history.

More than 50 years later, the Ayres family had a new plaque installed that appropriately commemorates UT’s 12th president. It even spelled his name correctly…"
1101-ayers1

The point is @wfwalton correctly said “AYRES (Anjou x Garber cross) named after the former president of UT, Dr. Brown AYRES.”

I’m going a little further is saying It’s lesser known sibling Tenn is named after the University of Tennesse and is also (Anjou x Garber cross)

Tennoshui discussed in other threads is not Tenn

Tenn pear is known better in the south. @alanmercieca i think asked which pears produced 2 crops like collette or my small yellow pear can. Tenn is one of those pears.

@coolmantoole and others who grow tenn will appreciate the fact im pointing out the difference between the real real Tenn and the many imposters. See the threads below they say everything about Tenn and Marcus and i have posted plenty of pictures through the years showing the family resemblance between ayers and tenn pear. Tenn can be good but it can also like ayers be astringent tasting. @k8tpayaso i think discovered that about the garber crosses that though typically delicious in some soils on certain years they can be spitters. Tenn is more inclined to be that way than ayers.

Someone may still not be convinced so let me clarify where the confusion came from by quoting @Lucky_P from 16 years ago on the old gardenweb. Lucky like many of us was also an nafex member.

Embothrium

16 years ago

The two main fruit sourcebooks I have here don’t list anything under such a name, either these plants weren’t being offered by suppliers they used or they have them listed under other cultivar names. You would expect that “meadow pear” was a common name and ‘Meadows’ was a mistake for that, but it’s also true it ain’t necessarily so.

lucky_p

16 years ago

Never heard of it, and don’t see it listed in the NCGR collection.

Here is a link that might be useful: NCGR Pyrus collection

Embothrium

16 years ago

The two main fruit sourcebooks I have here don’t list anything under such a name, either these plants weren’t being offered by suppliers they used or they have them listed under other cultivar names. You would expect that “meadow pear” was a common name and ‘Meadows’ was a mistake for that, but it’s also true it ain’t necessarily so.

lucky_p

16 years ago

Never heard of it, and don’t see it listed in the NCGR collection.

Here is a link that might be useful: NCGR Pyrus collection

calistoga_al ca 15 usda 9

16 years ago

I doubt that it is a pear at all but has been named pear because of a pear like appearance. Could actually be a ground cover. Al

gonebananas_gw

Original Author

16 years ago

A response on the Texas Gardening forum thinks it’s a local selection from Houston, which would fit with “Acres Home” (also discussed in the article) which is a suburb of Houston.

[Embothrium]

16 years ago

As with ornamental plants some orchard fruits have multiple synonyms. Facciola lists a Southern-Cross pear named ‘Ayres’, without knowing the specific circumstances I wonder if ‘Acres (Home)’ is a mistake for ‘Ayres’, with ‘Meadow(s)’ in turn being a false recollection of ‘Acres’ (‘Ayres’ > ‘Acres’ > ‘Meadow’). This kind of thing is not rare, many plants are circulated under wrong or replacement names. Orchard fruit cultivars may be quite old and have had plenty of time to accumulate long lists of synonyms.

[gonebananas_gw]

Original Author

16 years ago

I know what you mean. There are “Ayer” and “Ayers,” for instance. Same thing? At least one I believe is named after a well-known plantsman of old (maybe a century ago), in the upper midwest I believe.

But I have read that “Acres Home” is named after a old established suburb, one with large lots for some semi-rural enjoyments.

[lucky_p]

16 years ago

‘Ayre’ originated in China, ‘Ayer’ originated in KS as a chance seedling back in the 1880s, ‘Ayers’ was a release from the U of TN pear breeding program back in the 1930s.
‘Ayres’ - I don’t know; may be a misspelling of any one of the three above.

Embothrium

16 years ago

The ‘Ayres’ listed by Facciola is a Southern-Cross pear (as stated above) from Knoxville, TN so it would seem to be the third one and not the other two. Assuming he put in the book the same spelling used by his information sources then if this spelling was incorrect it implies a mistake has been repeated multiple times - F. lists 2 references (incl. Brooks 1972) and 12 suppliers for ‘Ayres’.

lucky_p

16 years ago

I have no doubt that misspellings are rampant - and when you have names as close as Ayer, Ayers, Ayre, Ayres, there’s going to be mislabeling.
I don’t know Facciola, but here’s info from the NCGR Pyrus collections:
Ayer(P.communis) - Originated as a chance seedling on the farm of O.H. Ayer, Sibly, Kansas, 1880. Fruit medium in size, resembling White Doyenne in form and coloration. Flesh fairly fine, buttery, moderately juicy. Mild, pleasing flavor but lacks distinctive dessert quality characteristics. Earlier than Bartlett in season. Tree moderately vigorous, reasonably productive, of fair resistance to fire blight.
Ayers(Pyrus hybrid- PI 541722). Originated in Knoxville, Tennessee, by Brooks D. Drain, Tennessee Agriculture Experiment Station. Introduced in 1954. Garber x Anjou; tested as Tennessee 37S21. Fruit: skin golden russet with a rose tint flesh juicy, sweet; good for eating fresh and average for canning; first picking in mid-August. Tree: resistant to fire blight, pollen-sterile.
Ayre(P.ussuriensis) Originally collected by P.H. Dorsett and W.J. Morse in Manchuria; PI assigned 1931.

I have the U of TN ‘Ayers’ in my collection.7464)]()

[calistoga_al ca 15 usda 9]

16 years ago

I doubt that it is a pear at all but has been named pear because of a pear like appearance. Could actually be a ground cover. Al

(gonebananas_gw)

gonebananas_gw

Original Author

16 years ago

A response on the Texas Gardening forum thinks it’s a local selection from Houston, which would fit with “Acres Home” (also discussed in the article) which is a suburb of Houston.

16 years ago

As with ornamental plants some orchard fruits have multiple synonyms. Facciola lists a Southern-Cross pear named ‘Ayres’, without knowing the specific circumstances I wonder if ‘Acres (Home)’ is a mistake for ‘Ayres’, with ‘Meadow(s)’ in turn being a false recollection of ‘Acres’ (‘Ayres’ > ‘Acres’ > ‘Meadow’). This kind of thing is not rare, many plants are circulated under wrong or replacement names. Orchard fruit cultivars may be quite old and have had plenty of time to accumulate long lists of synonyms.

[gonebananas_gw]

Original Author

16 years ago

I know what you mean. There are “Ayer” and “Ayers,” for instance. Same thing? At least one I believe is named after a well-known plantsman of old (maybe a century ago), in the upper midwest I believe.

But I have read that “Acres Home” is named after a old established suburb, one with large lots for some semi-rural enjoyments.

[lucky_p]

16 years ago

‘Ayre’ originated in China, ‘Ayer’ originated in KS as a chance seedling back in the 1880s, ‘Ayers’ was a release from the U of TN pear breeding program back in the 1930s.
‘Ayres’ - I don’t know; may be a misspelling of any one of the three above.

16 years ago

The ‘Ayres’ listed by Facciola is a Southern-Cross pear (as stated above) from Knoxville, TN so it would seem to be the third one and not the other two. Assuming he put in the book the same spelling used by his information sources then if this spelling was incorrect it implies a mistake has been repeated multiple times - F. lists 2 references (incl. Brooks 1972) and 12 suppliers for ‘Ayres’.

lucky_p

16 years ago

I have no doubt that misspellings are rampant - and when you have names as close as Ayer, Ayers, Ayre, Ayres, there’s going to be mislabeling.
I don’t know Facciola, but here’s info from the NCGR Pyrus collections:
Ayer(P.communis) - Originated as a chance seedling on the farm of O.H. Ayer, Sibly, Kansas, 1880. Fruit medium in size, resembling White Doyenne in form and coloration. Flesh fairly fine, buttery, moderately juicy. Mild, pleasing flavor but lacks distinctive dessert quality characteristics. Earlier than Bartlett in season. Tree moderately vigorous, reasonably productive, of fair resistance to fire blight.
Ayers(Pyrus hybrid- PI 541722). Originated in Knoxville, Tennessee, by Brooks D. Drain, Tennessee Agriculture Experiment Station. Introduced in 1954. Garber x Anjou; tested as Tennessee 37S21. Fruit: skin golden russet with a rose tint flesh juicy, sweet; good for eating fresh and average for canning; first picking in mid-August. Tree: resistant to fire blight, pollen-sterile.
Ayre(P.ussuriensis) Originally collected by P.H. Dorsett and W.J. Morse in Manchuria; PI assigned 1931.

I have the U of TN ‘Ayers’ in my collection."

@Lucky_P knows im clarifying where the mispelling came from on that old thread about ayers. The mispelling came from the University plaque itself. I doubt anyone but us even cares now. Lucky has forgotten more than many know on pears. He like myself tried his best to prevent the spread of pear misinformation. Back to the original question in that gardeweb thread about the meadows pear. The answer can be found here.

Here is someone still selling meadows when they have it in stock

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There is much printed evidence that Stark’s was once a quality tree nursery. I have a lot of present day physical evidence in my backyard that it is no longer true - both in the accuracy of labels and characteristics of plants.

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@Clark,
Look like Stark’s Brothers of recent years has not been as good as it was in the past. More recent reviews were mostly negative.

https://davesgarden.com/products/gwd/c/189/#b

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@mamuang @Richard

That seems very accurate. Sometimes replacing the old pear expert is a bad choice some nurseries make not realizing the long term impact immediately. This thread from @mayhaw9999 does more to clarify pears than about any that can be found

I also find this thread from @coolmantoole a very good thread

Fireblight is hitting us all hard on apples and pears now. It will take some work on our part to try to grow any at all. Kocide 3000 or similar copper is a great place to start fighting fireblight.

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My evidence suggests that they only have information systems for inventory. All of the plants I’ve ordered came from subcontractors. The inventory they list online appears to be “hot” plant names provided by their scouts – whether or not they actually have inventory. If not, you are told there will be a delay. Months later you receive a recent graft of a sapling in a 5" x 12" pot – hardly the “tree” advertised. The next year you determine it’s the wrong cultivar or species. Hartmann’s does this too.

1 Like

@Richard

Mr. Hartmann used to be a good man. Maybe he is not running things anymore. I’ve swapped with him many years ago. He used to breed a plum he called a mini sweet. I grew it here many years it was a lot like a beach plum. People and situations change sometimes. This is an example below about how the misinformation spreads