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Our holdings include hundreds of glass and film negatives/transparencies that we've scanned ourselves; in addition, many other photos on this site were extracted from reference images (high-resolution tiffs) in the Library of Congress research archive. (To query the database click here.) They are adjusted, restored and reworked by your webmaster in accordance with his aesthetic sensibilities before being downsized and turned into the jpegs you see here. All of these images (including "derivative works") are protected by copyright laws of the United States and other jurisdictions and may not be sold, reproduced or otherwise used for commercial purposes without permission.

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[REV 25-NOV-2014]

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Nick Grillo: 1942

Nick Grillo: 1942

May 1942. Southington, Connecticut. "As a boy in Italy, Nick Grillo dreamed of America and its opportunity. He saved enough money for boat passage to this country. Today, after 22 years, he is one of the world's outstanding floriculturists, developer of the famous Thornless Rose, an age-old dream of his craft." Medium format Kodachrome transparency by Fenno Jacobs. View full size.

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Going ape at Grillo's

Some time during the Winter of 1958-59, our 5th-grade teacher, Mrs. Dickenson, at the Milldale School, in Southington, walked the whole class up the hill, the 1/2 mile to the Grillo Greenhouses. There, we were given a tour of the place by somebody, I don't recall if it was Nick or not, and never knew him, personally.

The greenhouses were hot, inside, and had a very "earthy" smell. The thing I remember best is seeing a small, mature bunch of BANANAS, growing some feet off the ground, at the end of a row of flower beds. Mrs. Dickenson was able to bring three of the smallish fruits back to the classroom, where she cut them up, and served them to the class on individual paper plates, three small slices per student.

It's gotten quite difficult to find a good New-England-grown banana, in the decades since then.

Grandson of Nick Grillo the Floriculturist

If anyone would like to ask questions about my grandfather I would be glad to see if I could help.

I can be reached at

Nicholas Grillo

A bit more about Nicholas Grillo. World War I Draft Registration, June 5, 1917, he was 29 years old, living in Milldale Southington, Conn. He was born July 23, 1888 in Tusa, Messina, Italy. Present trade: Florist, in his own business. Dependents: wife and parents in Italy. Physical description: short, slender, brownish eyes, black hair, not bald.

Nick Grillo 1888-1975

Nicholas Grillo: born July 25, 1888; died May 1975 in Milldale, Hartford County, Connecticut, according to the Social Security Death Index.

Nick Grillo

Would anyone happen to know where Mr. Grillo's greenhouse is located? Is he still in Connecticut? I ask because he is my great-uncle and i would love to get in touch with him. send info to thank you.

[If he were still alive, he'd be around 110 years old. - Dave]


He's got some amazing roses there. I bet that greenhouse smelled heavenly.

Nick's Roses

I have some of his roses -- three bushes, as a matter of fact. They are great!

SHORPY HISTORICAL PHOTO ARCHIVE | History in HD is a vintage photo archive featuring thousands of high-definition images from the 1850s to 1960s. (Available as fine-art prints from the Shorpy Archive.) The site is named after Shorpy Higginbotham, a teenage coal miner who lived 100 years ago.

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