Just to end the suspense: No, we are not going to ship you a hardcover copy of the book. We do not have hundreds of copies of The Apple packed in cardboard boxes up in the hayloft above the modest but comfortable Apple Journal editorial office suite.
The Apple: A Practical Treatise Dealing with the Latest Modern Practices of Apple Culture is available free here in a very legible online version, courtesy of Google Books. It is also downloadable, for free, as an Adobe Acrobat (pdf) file.
Albert. E. Wilkinson was a professor of horticulture at Cornell University who “…became deeply convinced of the need of a single volume that would present in a logical manner the most essential of the recent practical ideas and methods.” It is a fascinating book, both for the thoroughness and clarity of his explanations and, for modern readers, as a window into the past. With this “single volume” in hand, you would have had all the information you would would have needed to start a commercial apple-growing operation. At least, if you were alive in 1915! (As some of Apple Journal’s readers may have been!) (Though of course not quite old enough, in 1915, to manage an orchard!)
For a sense of the breadth of topics Wilkinson covers, take a look a the table of contents.
The Apple is full of charts, tables, diagrams, and photos. One indication of the serious intention of the Wilkinson’s project is the fact that, of the four full-color plates included in the book, three are devoted to recognizing insect pests. They are beautifully drawn by L. H. Joutel. (See above.)
Thank you, Google Books, for making available to the general public a crystal-clear version of Wilkinson’s treatise. And a tip of the straw sombrero to Apple Journal reader Richard Youngberg of the Olympic Peninsula for alerting us to the existence of this classic.