Alexander W. Livingston of Ohio began trying to come up with different cultivar of the tomato to make the fruit more commercial. His intent was to shorten its growing season, affect its shape and color, and increase its sugar content. Today almost half of all tomato cultivars can be traced directly back to Livingston’s efforts. His attempts were met with great success. He was able to grower larger, fleshier, and higher sugar content tomatoes.
“Prior to Livingston's work, tomatoes had been mostly a vegetable with heavy ribbing, hard cores and often had hollow seed cavities.” — saveseeds.org
The Paragon, Acme, Perfection, Golden Queen, Favorite, Beauty, Potato Leaf, Stone, Royal Red, Gold Ball, Buckeye State, Aristocrat, Large Rose Peach, Honor Bright, Dwarf Yellow Prince, Magnus, Aristobright, Royal Colors, Dandy Dwarf, Multicolor, Princess, Grandus, Dwarf Stone, Dwarf Purple, Globe, Hummer, Coreless, Manyfold, Rosy Morn, Giant Oxheart, Hansing’s Improved Wilt-Resistant Marvel, New Yellow Oxheart, Ohio Red, Ideal, and Main Crop Pink are all cultivars Livingston created.
Livingston made the tomato his life’s work. From 1856 through 1898, when Livingston passed away, he saw his company grow from a small consolidated operation to one of the largest seed suppliers in the United States. Starting in Reynoldsburg, Ohio the company moved to Columbus then opened another farm in De Moines, Iowa. Due to his son's works the business thrived in Ohio and the farm in Iowa bolstered seed "production." In 1890, after his wife died, he returned to Ohio where he began work on his book “Livingston and the Tomato.” (see below) The book was an autobiography, instruction manual, agricultural history and recipe book.