Lindsay wrote today’s entry:
As you might guess, the Concord grape hails from Concord, Massachusetts, where it was developed by Ephraim Wales Bull. Bull started experimenting in the 1830s for a variety that would thrive in the cold New England climate, and tasted ‘Concord’ for the first time in 1849. Through 1850 to 1853, the plant was propagated to make it available commercially on a small-scale. By 1854, the fruits of Bull’s labour were for sale, and Bull made $3200 by selling vines for $5 each in the first year. Little money was made in succeeding years, though, as competing commercial nurseries propagated the vines in quantity and paid no royalties to Bull.
Concord grapes are often used as table grapes by home-growers. Commercially, products like Smucker’s Jam and Welch’s Grape Juice use this cultivar. In fact, Thomas Bramwell Welch discovered the pasteurization process using Concord grapes.
Bull’s epitaph in Sleepy Hollow Cemetery in Concord, Massachusetts reads “The Originator of the Concord Grape, He Sowed; Others Reaped”. For an extensive article about Vitis labrusca ‘Concord’, read the Edmund Schofield article published in Arnoldia, entitled “He Sowed; Others Reaped”: Ephraim Wales Bull and the Origins of the ‘Concord’ Grape (PDF).
As an aside, if you have horticultural or gardening questions about grapes, UBC Botanical Garden has a forum to discuss them: Grapes and Grape Vines.
Biology resource link (added by Daniel): I want to point out a thread on the forums for those of you who are fans of interesting organisms. In a discussion about identification of a slime mold, one of the forum members, forestlover, posted an extensive set of links about slime molds that are well-worth investigating.