McIntosh Red Apple

“McIntosh Red” apple watercolour by Faith Fyles for the Central Experimental Farm, Ottawa, Ontario, 1920s. Source: Ingenium 1987.2334

The McIntosh Red apple is a Canadian treat!

The McIntosh Red is a world-famous apple that was discovered in Ontario in 1811. John McIntosh, a settler from New York, found apple-tree seedlings as he cleared brush on his Dundela farm, near Morrisburg on the St Lawrence River. McIntosh transplanted the trees and one bore delicious fruit: a deep-red apple with tart flavour and tender white flesh. Over the decades, the McIntosh family propagated their unique apple by grafting grafted scions, or cuttings, to other fruit trees in their orchard. Allan McIntosh, John’s son, continued this work. He established a McIntosh Red nursery in 1870 and sold trees to other orchardists. By the early 1900s, the McIntosh Red was popular across North America. Apple breeders, such as W. T. Macoun at the Central Experimental Farm (CEF) in Ottawa, used the hardy McIntosh Red to create new varieties including Lobo, Cortland, Empire, and Spartan. CEF botanist and artist Faith Fyles recorded some of this breeding work in beautiful watercolours. And while new apple varieties like Gala and Honeycrisp have challenged the McIntosh Red’s supremacy, the McIntosh apple remains a favourite for cooking and for eating fresh.

The McIntosh Red inspired the name of the Macintosh computer. Jef Raskin, an Apple engineer, called the McIntosh “my favourite kind of eatin’ apple.”

Author(s)
Profile picture for user Ingenium
Ingenium – Canada's Museums of Science and Innovation

Ingenium represents a collaborative space where the past meets the future in a celebration of creativity, discovery, and human ingenuity.

Telling the stories of people who think differently and test the limits, Ingenium honours people and communities who have shaped history — and inspire the next generation.

https://ingeniumcanada.org/about-ingenium