The major impetus for this book was to provide the historical background of the discovery, the reproduction, the patenting and the marketing of the genetically superior Purdue #1, the first tree patented for timber uses and the philosophy behind it. Purdue #1 can be found growing in at least eight countries and in nearly every state in the union.
It tells the story of Walt Beineke's childhood and adolescence in Indianapolis from Boy Scouts, Shortridge High School, to undergraduate work in forestry at Purdue University, and on to graduate school at Duke University and North Carolina State University emphasizing the influences that led to his 34 year career as a teacher and forest geneticist at Purdue University.
The book includes stories of the people who shaped the development of Purdue #1 from family, to friends, to teachers, to colleagues, to nearly 100 students and even a few notables such as Bill and John Hillenbrand, Richard Lugar, Ralph Davis, Birch Bayh and Evan Bayh.
Stories, some humorous, some poignant, some about the times and the way teaching and research was accomplished by a small cadre of graduate and undergraduate students in Purdue University’s Department of Forestry and Natural Resources are the essence of this book.
It is rich in connections among the various people and happenings from the period of recognition of the increased importance of growing trees and the applied research that has enabled the planting of Indiana black walnut around the world.