'Ohio Everbearing' black raspberry
When I first heard about the 'Explorer' primocane-fruiting black raspberry, I was convinced it was the first such variety. As it turned out, I was wrong, as numerous such cultivars existed by the turn of the century, although very few ever achieved any importance.
An exception to this, however, is the very first primocane-fruiting black raspberry, 'Ohio Everbearing'. Although not a major commercial success, this variety remains significant as one of the very first cultivated American selections of Rubus, and probably the first named black cap (given the abundance of wild black raspberries, it probably took an unusual trait such as fall-fruiting to warrant a name and cultivation).
'Ohio Everbearing' was discovered in the wild by Nicholas Longworth. Longworth was a self-made millionaire banker from Cincinnati, which in 1804 when he moved there was almost the western frontier. Although his family remained important in local and U.S. politics, and he left an estate worth $10 million when he died in 1863, Longworth's most lasting legacy is as a horticulturist. Often called "The Father of American Viticulture" (a title sometimes applied to his correspondent, John Adlum), Longworth was an avid collector and disseminator of fruit varieties. He championed first the 'Alexander' and then the 'Catawba' grapes and introduced at least one strawberry of his own creation.
Everbearing Black Caps listed in Fred Card's
Bush Fruits (1920)
[Grigg's] Daily Bearing
King of Cliff's
Lum's Autumn Black Raspberry
Lum's Yellow Canada
Miller's Daily Bearing
Longworth was among the foremost horticultural authorities of his day, and an everbearing variety of raspberry would seem to be a major development, so it seems like it should have caught on, but while he and a few others cultivated it commercially, it never seems to have. Black caps, in general, have never attained commercial prominence, perhaps because they were foreign to European tastes, and thus unable to compete with the more familiar red raspberries. Many other everbearers, such as 'Grigg's Daily Bearing', 'Miller's Daily Bearing', and 'Lum's Autumn Black' were selected from its seedlings. (Indeed, I rather suspect most, if not all, of those everbearing black raspberries that appeared in the second half of the nineteenth century may claim it as an ancestor. Most of these seem to originate in Ohio, Kentucky, Indiana, or Illinois, the areas nearest the discovery and commercialization of Longworth's variety).