[Paul Axel Boving, Swedish-born Canadian agronomist.] Long Autograph Letter Signed ('Paul.'), in English, to his brother Jens Orten Boving, discussing farming and family matters.

Paul Axel Boving (1874-1947), Swedish-born Canadian academic, Professor of Agronomy at the University of British Columbia [Jens Orten Boving (1873-1959), was a hydro-electric engineer]
Publication details: 
3 January 1923. Vancouver [Canada], on letterheads of the University of British Columbia.
SKU: 22890

19pp, 8vo. On ten foliated leaves. On aged paper; the first leaf with slight damage and loss to corner and one edge, with minor loss to text. Addressed to 'My dear Jens'. According to Elinor Barr, 'Swedes in Canada: Invisible Immigrants' (2015), Boving 'developed several new strains of forage crops and grains'. The recipient, Boving's brother Jens Orten Boving (1873-1959), was a hydro-electric engineer and inventor based in London, responsible, according to 'Who's Who in Engineering', 1922, 'for a large number of water-power plants, pulp mills and pumping plants in all parts of the world'. The greater part of the letter is devoted to advice on farming practices, in response to enquiries from Jens. Boving begins on the subject of the recent birth of his son Per Arvid Lancelot Christoffer (1922-1999): 'Yes, we are proud and happy over our little P. A. (Per Peter Paul Arvid) he may choose whatever he likes later on, though I always call him Per; i.e. when we two are by ourselves. If he develops along the lines of Ellen and resembles his mother as much as possible he will be all right, even though he may not be great as you predict. Thanks for your wellwishes on behalf of the little man.' He continues on the subject, before the news that Jens has 'given up' his 'business' (he would shortly set up a new company Hydrautomat), 'much to Kaj's disgust. I wrote him a couple of days ago attempting to be philosophical and broadminded, although unable to conceal my scepticism.' He discusses Jens's 'strenghth, energy and ability' in the light of his 'ambition and progress', before turning to his 'report on the mangels', with reference to 'The Goden Tankard' and 'Yellow Intermediate'. He will let his University charge his brother 'for seed which, for years, I have sent out to other farmers for nothing. Incidentally I have made up my mind to charge the whole bunch of them from now on. They will value this priceless seed more if they are made to pay for it.' He turns to Jens's 'special farm problem' regarding crops and yields, which he discusses at length in five numbered sections, with a thirteen-entry table of recipes for 'clover grass mixtures'. The discussion continues under the headings 'The permanent Hogfield' and 'Hog Pasture'. He now turns to cows, and there is a small table for two breeds, before he gives a pedigree to illustrate his advice: 'Spend every pound you can reasonably afford on two or three well bred cows mated to first class herd bulls on both sides of the pedigree.' After more on the same subject he observes: 'I envy you your opportunity to work-play together with your men on the farm. You will all benefit from the experience even though it may not last for long. I ahve never been quite so happy in my activities as during these periods when I had occasion to work, in experimental work or in practical farming, along with the so called labourers; and in every case we established relations which I remember with great joy.' Resisting the temptation to 'ramble on', he returns to the family, including the news that 'George' and his family spent Christmas with him. He discusses, like a true agronomist, 'the two Boving strains (George's and my own)', and remarks that his son is outgrowing a normal child, which is 'supposed to double its weight in five months, but he only used 3 months and 1 week to accomplish this most important feat'. He ends 'with special commendation to Hilma, if she will graciously accept it, for her proven skill in farm and garden management'.