When Luther Burbank was alive, it was said that his face was as well known to Americans as those of George Washington and Abraham Lincoln! He was known and respected all over the world, not just for his success with plants, but also for his outlook on life. Because of his fame, Luther Burbank met many of the other famous people of his day. Perhaps you've even heard of some of these people!
Jack London

According to the date on the back of this photo, it was taken in 1903. Luther Burbank is on the left and Jack London is on the right. Jack London was a famous author. He is best known for his books, Call of the Wild, and White Fang. Jack London's ranch, the Beauty Ranch, was located only a few miles east of Santa Rosa in the Valley of the Moon. Today, the ranch is part of Jack London State Park.

Side Trip: Web Site

You can visit the Jack London State Park website to learn more about this author and his home. Remember, you should bookmark this page before you go to the site. There is no direct link back to this site.

Thomas A. Edison

This photo was taken in Sacramento, California, in 1915. Luther Burbank is on the left and Thomas Edison is on the right. Thomas Edison came to California to visit the 1915 Pan Pacific Exposition in San Francisco. Luther Burbank was asked by one of the Exposition's committees to meet Mr. Edison in Sacramento, sort of officially welcoming him to California. Burbank later wrote, "Edison has chained the lightning and trained the illimitable energies of the earth to lessen man's burden..."(Harvest of the Years)

Side Trip: Pan Pacific Exposition

The Pan Pacific Exposition was a very grand World's Fair that was held to honor the official opening of the Panama Canal. The Exposition had exhibits from all over the world, and was open for about a year. On the San Francisco Marina, enormous fancy buildings were constructed especially for the Pan Pacific Exposition. One of the buildings from the exposition is still in use today; it's the Palace of Fine Arts. The Palace of Fine Arts is now home to a well-known children's museum called The Exploratorium.

Thomas Edison & Henry Ford

This photo is pretty famous, at least in Santa Rosa. Luther Burbank is in the center, with Thomas Edison on his left, and Henry Ford on his right. The three gentlemen are sitting on the steps of Luther Burbank's house in Santa Rosa. As mentioned above, Thomas Edison was in California to attend the Pan Pacific Exposition. Henry Ford also attended the Exposition. Burbank wrote of Henry Ford. These famous men came to Santa Rosa to see Luther Burbank's Gardens and Greenhouse. Mr. Burbank later wrote:"They wanted to know everything about the flowers and the plans and the programme...The ladies said we acted like three schoolboys, but we didn't care. We were having a boss time!" (Harvest of the Years)

Side Trip: Web Site

Greenfield Village

Henry Ford was very impressed with his fellow inventors and he wanted to preserve the artifacts and buildings connected with them. He created a huge outdoor museum called Greenfield Village in Dearborn, Michigan. If you walk through this village of history, you will see Luther Burbank's birthplace from Lancaster, Massachusetts, as well as the Gatehouse from his garden here in Santa Rosa. You can visit the Village's website to see a bit of the Village, but none of the Luther Burbank buildings are shown on the website. Remember: before you visit the Village, you should bookmark this page. There is no direct connection back from the village to this site.

Helen Keller

This photo was taken in the 1920s. Helen Keller, who was famous around the world, came to visit Mr. Burbank in Santa Rosa. They are standing on the lawn by Mr. Burbank's famous cedar. Mr. Burbank is holding some of his Shasta Daisies so that Miss Keller can feel them. Mr. Burbank wrote about Helen Keller: "We were instantly friends. We understood each other and I saw through her fingers as much as she saw through my eyes." (Harvest of the Years)

Side Trip: Helen Keller

Helen Keller was well-known because she triumphed over tremendous handicaps (she was deaf and blind due to a childhood illness). She learned to read Braille, to speak, and to use sign language. She wrote books, gave lectures, and through her own life's example, gave courage and inspiration to others. There are many books about Helen Keller, including her autobiography, in most school and local libraries. You can also look for the movie,"The Miracle Worker," in your local video store. This movie shows the struggles that Helen overcame. To go to a very good website(American Federation for the Blind) about Helen Keller, click here. Remember: you may want to bookmark this page since there is no direct link back.

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