"Dwarf Plants" from Brooklyn Daily Eagle

      "Dwarf Plants" (1868):

       "One of the peculiar arts cultivated by the Chinese is the dwarfing of vegetation.  By some process known only to the Celestials, ordinary plants and shrubs may be dwarfed in their growth to the most lilliputian dimensions.  This art the Chinese have recently introduced here, and a collection of diminative [sic] plants is now on exhibition at Wengenroth’s Saloon under the Park Theatre, which challenges the attention of the horticultural and curious.  There are trees two inches high in full bloom, and the whole family of house plants got up on the same scale.  You can have a respectable conservatory on the side-board, or a varied and extensive botanical collection on a window sill.  These dwarf plants are said to be as hardy as the full grown ones.” 1


1     Brooklyn Daily Eagle, April 29, 1868, pg. 3.  This is currently the earliest known report of a collection of dwarf potted trees shown in the United States.  The Park Theatre in question apparently was that of Gabriel Harrison, from 1863 -1908, Fulton avenue ( now part of Fulton street) opposite City/Borough Hall. 
      Chas. Wengenroth is listed as proprietor of the Park Restaurant who on Aug. 22, 1870 would "open the house for six nights, with Mr. Wm. Harris as the leading attraction..."  On Aug. 27, 1870, Mr. Wengenroth is listed as having ended a "brief and successful dramatic season here [at the Park Theatre].  For a new hand at theatrical mangement Mr. Wengenroth has done remarkably well."  Charles Wengenroth is listed in the summer of 1869 at 383 Fulton Street as a confectionist.  The 1880 census lists him as having been born in Germany in 1840.

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