National Apple Museum
Biglerville, PA 17307
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Early History
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Fruit Crate Labels

There are 13 pages of fruit crate labels in this section.
We hope you enjoy them! (Scroll down to see labels)
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The Fruit Crate Labels below are representatives of the labels which were the principal advertising medium used by commercial fruit growers to advertise their produce to brokers, wholesalers, and buyers from the late 1800s well into the 1900s.

The growth of the railroad system in the U.S., Canada, and Australia, as well as other countries, was a principal factor in the growth of commercial tree fruit production industry in those countries. Railroads provided cheap and rapid transit to markets in the large population centers, as well as supported international shipping of that produce to overseas markets.

Initially in Pennslylvania and in many other areas, the growers used metal stencil forms to put their names and brands on the wooden crates and barrels containing their produce. This was done also by brokers and wholesalers who made bulk purchases from the growers for subsequent retail sales to markets. The goals of the stenciling was not only to identify the source of the produce but more importantly to get that produce before the consumers and to attract them to buy their products as opposed to others.

To improve the produce sales potential and to grab the consumers quicker, growers developed and used the paper labels you see below (and on following pages) to glue to their wooden crates and barrels. Other produce growers followed suit in using their own packaging labels.

The Fruit Crate Labels have Art, Cultural, Geographic, and Sociological content.

The development of reliable cardboard packaging containers, mechanized labor saving processing and packaging processes, thin plastic packaging film from the mid-1900s on, soon led to the paper Fruit Crate Labels being retired from use by the fruit industry.

They are works of art and are Collectibles now. There are a number of web sites on the Internet where you can not only view them in all their diversity, but purchase them as well.

The donated collection in the National Apple Museum in Biglerville, PA was assembled over many years by a Mr. George Kira of Staten Island, New York.

The Yakima Valley Museum in Yakima, Washington, and the British Columbia Orchard Industry Fruit Museum in Kelowna, B.C., Canada also have collections of these labels.

See our "Other Fruit-Related Museums" section: click on the "British Columbia Orchard Fruit Industry Museum" in Kelowna, B.C. Canada line to view a very nice booklet the museum published, with a number of photographs, on Canadian Fruit Crate Labels.

 Talona label
Blue Ridge Mountain Orchards
Ellijay, Georgia
 Silver Spruce label
Mountain Air Orchards
Hotchkiss, Colorado
 Buckeye label
Ohio Fruit Growers
 Buckeye label
Ohio Fruit Growers
 Kentucky Cardinal label
Henry P. Barret
Henderson, Kentucky
 Mountaineer label
Consolidated Orchard
Paw Paw, West Virginia

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The Biglerville Historical and Preservation Society
and The National Apple Museum
154 West Hanover Street - P.O. Box 656
Biglerville, PA 17307-9442 - Telephone: 717-677-4556

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