Produce Crate Labels: vivid art from a bygone era
February 7, 2012 11:52 AM Subscribe
With the completion of the Transcontinental Railroad, produce could travel all over the United States with ease. To stand out from competitors, farmers shifted from stencil-marked crates to vivid crate labels, which were largely replaced by lower-cost cardboard boxes in the 1950s and 60s, allowing images to be printed right onto the boxes. These vivid bits of history are now bought, sold, and traded by collectors (related gallery). Blue Sky Search and California Bountiful have articles on the rise and fall of produce labels, and the subsequent collection of these art pieces. Boston Public Library has a high-quality, larger format Flickr gallery, but the collection is limited. Pat Jacob's Fruit Crate Labels has a collection of small images and a lot of information for collectors, and Crate Label Museum has an extensive collection, though the images are smaller than those in the Boston Public Library's collection.
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