Friday, August 22, 2008

Fabulous fruit and vegetable labels

Box of Apples reports: [edited] is the online museum (and gift shop) of fruit crate labels from the early 1900s to 1950s. Back in the days of our grandparents and their parents, people did their produce-shopping at markets that were more like a farmers' market than today’s grocery stores.

The fruit and vegetables would be displayed in their shipping crates somewhere near the railroad tracks, probably under a big shed. Each crate would have a label (up to a foot square) showing the name of the packer, and a colorful design to differentiate the brand.

Fruit crates disappeared with the advent of self-service supermarkets and cardboard boxes, but thousands of vintage labels have survived in mint condition, rescued from warehouses and print shops, mostly on the West Coast. Beautifully printed by stone lithography with eight- or twelve-color inks, they are now collectors' items with a big following on eBay. On this site you can see dozens of different designs, and buy large-format, high-quality reproductions for home or office.


Mr Gnome said...

They're scrummy.


First para - I think "a farmers' market" would be correcter....

Thank you foer this luscious post.

Mr Gnome said...

Oh dear


Me amd my splatitudes....

brett jordan said...


apostrophe duly repositioned

and, i think the proper phrase is 'much more correctererer'

conradgempf said...

See, I've always used
for my fruit label museum needs.

And, since you were probably going to ask,
for my American cereal box needs.

brett jordan said...

thanks conrad, some of those cereal boxes are awesome :-)

Anonymous said...

You guys should also check out They have a huge selection of vintage fruit crate labels. Let me know how you think they compare. :)