Radiator Charlie's Mortgage Lifter Tomato is a 1940s non-commercial tomato developed by Marshall Cletis Byles of Logan, West Virginia. As might be expected, he didn't like his given name, so he was known locally as "Radiator Charlie" because he operated a small auto repair shop at the base of a steep hill that was notorious for making trucks overheat. Radiator Charlie became interested in gardening after he began working with his family, at age 4, in the cotton fields of North Carolina. He didn’t have any formal education or actual plant breeding experience, yet he would go on to create a most remarkable variety of tomato that would carry his name.
Radiator Charlie sold so many of his new tomato plants over the next few years that the profits paid off the $6000 mortgage on his home! After that, the tomato variety became forever known as Radiator Charlie's Mortgage Lifter Tomato! In 1985, Radiator Charlie shared some of his seed with the Southern Exposure Seed Exchange, which formally introduced his tomato to the general public. Ever since then, it has been a very desirable tomato variety. Radiator Charlie" Byles died at the ripe old age of 97.