Nathaniel Bagshaw Ward

New Holland to the Cape of Good Hope

Today the botanist John Smith wrote a letter to Nathaniel Bagshaw Ward.
Royal Botanic Garden, Kew,
January 24, 1842.
Dear Sir,
In reply to your inquiry [regarding] the ... results obtained by [using] close-glazed cases for the transfer of living plants from one country to another, I beg to say that the several cases which have arrived… have shown that although all [some of the] plants [did not make it], still, the deaths are … few in proportion to the number that we have witnessed in cases having open lattice or wire-work lids, covered with tarpaulin (“tar-PALL-in”) or some such covering.
It is much to be regretted that close-glazed cases were not in use during the years ... botanical collectors were employed in New Holland and the Cape of Good Hope.
For this garden: a very great number of the plants which they sent home were … dead on their arrival, [as a result of] the imperfect protection during the voyage to this country; therefore, from my experience, I have no hesitation in considering your [cases] the best for the purpose desired.
I am, Sir,
Your's truly,

For plant explorers, Wardian cases made all the difference.

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Nathaniel Bagshaw Ward
Nathaniel Bagshaw Ward

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