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The "Geisenheim Research Institute" in the town of Geisenheim in the Rheingau region of Hesse was founded in 1872 by the German banker Freiherr Eduard von Lade (1817-1904) as the "Königlich Preußische Lehranstalt für Obst- und Weinbau". The son of a wine merchant had acquired a considerable fortune with export, banking and arms business and retired in Geisenheim in 1861. He had a luxurious country estate built there in the classicist style called "Monrepos" (French for "my retirement home"), complete with extensive parkland near the banks of the Rhine, and from then on devoted himself to private interests, the most important of which included fruit growing and the cultivation of new fruit varieties. Several times he sent boxes of apples and pears to the Prussian King Wilhelm I (1797-1888) and the Imperial Chancellor Otto von Bismarck (1815-1898), together with a request to be allowed to found a "Pomological College" (Pomologie = Greek for the study of fruit growing) in Geisenheim, which he was finally allowed to do by decree.

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