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Blue Flag apple crate label
Currently on display
From the Smithsonian Collection
This Blue Flag brand label's patriotic color scheme, and the reference to the Standard Apple Act of 1917, suggests that it was probably made during or immediately after World War I.
Physical Description

label. paper. Transcript:
Blue Flag Brand. Fancy Quality Pajaro Valley Apples. Shipped by Gilmore & Copeland. Watsonville California. Guarenteed by the packer to comply with Standard Apple Act, 1917

Details
Date Made:
1910s
Locations:
California
Note:
Watsonville
History

Fruit crate labels began to be designed at the end of the 19th century . As refrigerated railroad cars helped make the long distance shipping of perishable produce such as fruits and vegetables possible, the industry developed labels so shippers and merchants could more easily identify what was in the crates. These vibrant and colorful paper labels were pasted onto the boxes they shipped around the country and were a lively mobile advertisement. Labels featured a wide range of designs. Although the produce in question—be it orange, lemon, apple, strawberry or some other fruit—was usually depicted on the label, it wasn't always the case. Labels drew on a wide range of iconographic images--from idyllic pastoral scenes, women, animals, and patriotic imagery--in order to entice people to buy fruit.


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