In 1910, in the shop in Darlington he ran until he retired at 78, Fred Reeks bottled jars of the fruit and vegetables which would win awards at the town's old Horse and Dog show and, ten years later, at the Royal Show.
More than a century on, his family have donated 15 of them, including containers of carrots, peas and asparagus in water and cherries preserved in a sugary mix, to the Beamish Museum.
“To think those peas are more than 100 years old and still have their colour,” says Hilary Hopkins, Reeks’ granddaughter.
“We are thrilled that people are going to be able to see what we think are beautiful examples.”
Reeks died in 1967, two years after his career as a greengrocer ended.
“It will be interesting to see if it’s still safe to eat,” pondered one fan on the museum’s Facebook page.
“I had an aunt who used to can her plums and never bought a tin of veg in her entire days.”
The Beamish is known to host vegetable shows in its on-site Pit Village. Its annual Harvest Festival and Festival of Agriculture are also popular fixtures.