Born in Switzerland, Hermann Jaeger (1844-1895) was a grandson of the educator and school reformer Johann Heinrich Pestalozzi (1746-1827) and learned the profession of a gardener. He emigrated to the USA and settled east of Neosho (Missouri) in 1865. Together with his brother John he cultivated grapes there. Subsequently, he worked as a breeder of grape varieties, regularly wrote articles about them for magazines and exchanged information with European grape experts. For this purpose, he preferred to make selections of wild gra pevines of the species Vitis lincecumii from the Ozarks region in Missouri. Jaeger experimented with crosses of other American species such as Vitis aestivalis and the phylloxera-resistant Vitis rupestris. In the 1870s, the phylloxera plague escalated in Europe. When the cause of vine death was finally identified, a worldwide search for resistant vines began. The entomologist in charge of Missouri, Charles Valentine Riley (1843-1895), noticed the great resistance of the Jaeger varieties to the pest.