Radiator Charlie’s Mortgage Lifter Tomato

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Charlie Byles of Logan, WV, was a car mechanic and had a business at the foot of a hill on which cars would overheat. Hence, Mr. Byles was given the nickname of Radiator Charlie. He bred a pink tomato by crossing four large tomatoes: German Johnson, a tomato with the commercial name Beefsteak in addition to an Italian and English tomato.

Radiator Charlie’s efforts to breed a new tomato continued for six more years. He finally ended up with a stable variety of which seedlings he sold for $1 in the 1940s. Seedling sales helped him pay his $6,000 mortgage on his house in six years. In the end, he named the tomato Mortgage Lifter.

Fruits of this incredibly-well documented heirloom tomato, thanks to an interview conducted with Charlie Byles in 1985, can weigh as heavy as 2 lbs. Plants are very productive and well-adapted to growing conditions of the Appalachian region. Fruits are flavorful, meaty and pink. Mortgage Lifter is one of the most popular heirloom tomatoes among home gardeners.

Our seed strain originally came from Southern Exposure Seed Exchange, and our current seed stock was grown in Morgantown, WV.

Our current stock seed was grown on our seed farm in Reedsville, WV.

Packet has 25 seeds

Additional Information

Weight 0.006 lbs

25 seeds, 50 seeds


1 review for Radiator Charlie’s Mortgage Lifter Tomato

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    Dancey Howes (verified owner)

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