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Appleton fruit crate label
In collection
From the Smithsonian Collection
This 1910s apple crate label reflects women's changing fashions, and the continued appeal of ordered, pastoral, landscapes to those who marketed apples. The "bellflower" on the label refers to the type of apple grown: Watsonville area farmers typically planted yellow newtown pippens and yellow bellflower apples.
Physical Description
label. paper.
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. The fruit in question—be it an orange, lemon, apple, strawberry or other produce—was usually depicted on the label, but that was not 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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