Book Review: Fruit Crate Art

Crate art

I bet the artists and printers who created these labels had no idea that a few decades later their endeavors would be sought after, framed and hung in the parlor or den.

Joe Davidson writes a short history of the medium and gives some collecting tips but this book is basically pages of coloful labels, many of them about the same size as the originals.

Considering they only went on the ends of fruit and vegetable boxes the range of illustrations is fascinating. Golden Bosc pears thought a thirties streamline train would really push their product, Best Strike apples used a baseball player, Strength oranges an elephant and there are plenty of vistas of growing crops stretching into the horizon with snow-capped mountains as a backdrop.

As is usual with this kind of book the designer has overlapped the images but I'm pleased to have it in my Americana library, crate art collectors and graphic designers will also enjoy it.

Dover Books have published a book of labels (printed on one side of the page, the back is blank)that also includes a CD-ROM of the contents: Full-Color Fruit Crate Labels CD-ROM and Book I think this is the same book as: Old-Time Fruit Crate Labels in Full Color (Dover Pictorial Archive Series) but with a different cover.

Fruit Crate Art is available at Amazon (US | CA | UK | DE | FR | IT | ES | JP | CN) and Book Depository

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Grape box labels

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Left: a rather unusual and beautiful label.

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