Thursday, June 13, 2013

Lost Art

Since all fruits and vegetables were originally shipped in wooden crates, labels were needed for the ends of each crate to identify its contents, place of origin and to catch the eye of buyers with interesting graphic images. Beginning on the Pacific Coast of America in the mid-1880s, crate labels became America's largest innate art-form, advertising countless millions of boxes of fruit to consumers across the nation and around the globe for the past 130 years!

The largest producer and user, by far, was California. But Washington, Oregon British Columbia, Florida, Australia and New Zealand, and other countries also contributed to the phenomenon. However, in the mid 1950s, due to War shortages and changes in packaging technologies, labels were no longer necessary for most of the produce industry, as pre-printed cardboard boxes replaced the older wooden crates.

More than 100 printing and lithographic companies created labels for food packers in more than thirty American states. Similarly, several other countries have used labels of their own for decades, like Spain, Italy, Canada and Australia. Worldwide, countless billions of labels have been circulated since the 1880s. Yet, somehow, miraculously, thousands of labels have been found in varying quantities, enough for collectors to appreciate from far and wide. And, that is why label collecting is so fascinating. Because nearly all the collectible labels available today, are here by accident. They were printed, but never used, and so they sat on shelves of old warehouses for decades, until discovered by collectors. I hope you enjoy your framed vintage crate label.

For the past year I’ve been collecting these labels and creating custom, vintage style frames from recycled wood and framing these wonderful pieces of art.
Now that I have so many framed and ready to go I would like to offer them for sale.  My pictures of the finished products suck….it’s the camera phone, not me, you can only do so much with a phone from Wall Mart….

If you’re interested in buying a specific piece let me know, contact me at  free shipping in the US except for Alaska, Hawaii and Arkansas (just kidding).  For those outside the US shipping will be determined by current rates.

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