An old heirloom, it was thought to be developed by a gardener named Mr. Lambert of Bellefonte, Pennsylvania in 1869.
There is another tomato called General Grant, which was originally developed/selected by an amateur from Masachussetts, according to the article ‘Unrivalled Prize Tomato General Grant’ in The Gardener’s monthly and horticultural advertiser, Volume 11 –
“It originated in the garden of an Amateur, who, after growing it for a number of years in connection with all the leading sorts, became convinced that it was far superior to any other, and that it should be widely disseminated ; and for this purpose it was put into our hands. In consideration of the many disappointments experienced in the introduction of new varieties, we have given it a thorough trial of two years ; and it has far exceeded our expectations, ever attracting great attention wherever exhibited, taking the first prize above all others at the Massachusetts Horticultural Society’s Exhibitions the past two years. We feel the fullest confidence that too much cannot be said in its praise. We believe it the nearest approach to perfection of any thing of the kind yet offered, combining more superior qualities.
Size about the medium, three to four inches in diameter, growing in clusters; form round, slightly flattened, very regular, symmetrical and rarely ribbed or wrinkled; color brilliant glossy crimson ; flesh unusually firm, solid, and free from water, weighing from ten to twenty pounds more per bushel than other varieties ; skin remarkably fine, smooth and shining, coloring well up to the stem, a quality very desirable to those preparing them for the table; very productive, and of the finest flavor; bears carriage well, and keeps in good condition a long time after being gathered, retaining its goodness, and free from wilting. It will be found to ripen uniformly, and as early as, if not earlier than other varieties. ” Both varieties are believed to be extinct.
What exists today is Lambert’s General Grant that was ‘resurrected’ in the mid-90s by Williams Woys Weaver of Paoli, Pennsylvania, who found an unknown large pink tomato growing in an area of Pennsylvania where Lambert’s General Grant tomatoes used to be grown, he thought this may have been the Lambert’s General Grant tomato and labeled it such. It was first offered in the 2007 SSE Yearbook by Bryan Connolly and Diane Dorfer of Mansfield Center, Connecticut, who obtained the seed from Eastern Native Seed Conservancy, which likely acquired the seed from Williams Woys Weaver. The Lambert’s General Grant tomato seeds offered today is not the original General Grant red tomato.
Indeterminate, regular leaf plant produces 10-14 oz., large, perfectly round and slightly flattened, pink beefsteak tomatoes with very good, complex, sweet, well-balanced flavors. Juicy.