The size and the delicacy of fruit and vegetables determined the size of the crate in which it would be packaged. For example, tomatoes and grapes could not be stacked as high as lemons or oranges.
Therefore, they were packed on long narrow “lug boxes.” Grape and tomato labels will be about 5” x 14” inches in size; apple and orange labels are normally 10” x 11,” lemon labels 9” x 12”, pears 8” x 10” and standard vegetable labels are 5” x 7” or 7” x 9”. NOTE: Reproduction labels will often not conform to these size specifications.
A poll taken in 1918 showed that it was more important to attract the male wholesaler than the housewife. As a result you will find that labels printed after 1918 tend to show a more seductive female form than those issued earlier. It is also interesting to note that most labels were designed to be appreciated as “art,” and seldom, if ever, had anything to do with the content of the crate.
The price of a label is determined by rarity, age, condition and graphic appeal. Labels are still rather easy to find as they were printed on acid free paper, and made to withstand the abrasion and dampness of the refrigerated railroad cars that carried them to their destination. Many of the more common labels can be purchased in the $3 to $5 range. The “girlie” labels from such companies as, “Sweet Patootie,” “Glamor Girl” and “Buxom Melons,” will run you $6 to $10.
California labels from the early 1920s can be found from $15 to $25.
Two of the leading sellers in the Patriotic category are the labels from “Lincoln Brand Oranges” than can be found in the area of $8 to $12, and “Eagle Peaches”, from Georgia which can set you back as much as $35.
Until next time,
Linda Hamer Kennett is a professional liquidation consultant specializing in down-sizing for seniors and the liquidation of estates and may be reached at 317-429-7887 or email@example.com