The Story of Stowell's Evergreen
In the early 1800s Nathaniel Newman Stowell spent years refining this strain of corn. After some consideration - and with the promise that it was only for personal, private use - he sold two ears of seed corn to a friend for $4.00.
That friend went on to sell the seed to a commercial enterprise for $20,000, which is perhaps the reason we are able to grow it today.
Corn, or maize, is thought to have been domesticated by the Olmec and Mayans and trade helped to spread the crop through much of the Americas by 2500 BCE. Corn and maize spread throughout the world after European explorers and traders brought it home with them.