Scope and Content of Collection
Title: Lug Label Collection,
Date (inclusive): 1890-1940
Collection number: D-211
University of California, Davis. Library. Dept. of Special Collections
12.4 linear feet
University of California, Davis. General Library. Dept. of Special Collections.
100 North West Quad
Davis, California, 95616-5292
Abstract: The Lug Label collection consists of approximately 2000 lithographed labels created primarily for containers of oranges, lemons,
and apples. The majority of the labels are from growers and distributors from California's Central Valley. The collection
spans the years 1890-1940.
Physical location: Researchers should contact Special Collections to request collections, as many are stored offsite.
Collection is open for research.
Copyright is protected by the copyright law, chapter 17 of the U.S. Code. All requests for permission to publish or quote
from manuscripts must be submitted in writing to the Head of Special Collections. Permission for publication is given on behalf
of Special Collections, General Library, University of California, Davis as the owner of the physical items and is not intended
to include or imply permission of the copyright holder, which must also be obtained by the researcher.
[Identification of item], Lug Label Collection, D-211, Department of Special Collections, University of California Library,
This collection was constructed by the Special Collections Department from an accession of lug labels transferred by the Pomology
Department. Labels are added to the collection as they are received.
Paper labels to identify the brand name and packing location of boxes of fresh fruit were first used in Southern California
in the 1880s. These labels replaced the earlier methods of identifying shipments of fruit: stencilling, stamping, or burning
the brand information on the wooden crates.
The completion of the transcontinental railroad changed the way California fruit was marketed. The national transportation
network offered distributors the ability to send their products to customers on the East Coast. However, they needed an effective
way to identify and advertise the product to those customers. They developed a wooden shipping box about 12" x 12" x 27",
and used a paper label about 10" x 11" on the box end. The brightly colored label became an important part of the national
Growers and packers collaborated with commercial artists to design the labels. The labels identified the brand name and type
of the product, the grower and/or packer, and their location. They also displayed images that would call attention to the
product in the midst of competition. As a result, thousands of different label designs were produced.
The use of the paper labels ended in the mid-1950's, when carboard boxes with preprinted labels came into circulation.
Source: McClelland, Gordon and Last, Jay T.
Fruit box labels: an illustrated price guide to citrus labels. Santa Ana, Calif.: Hillcrest Press, Inc., 1995.
Scope and Content of Collection
The Lug Label Collection consists of approximately 2000 lithographed labels created primarily for containers of oranges, lemons,
and apples. The labels span the years 1890-1940 with the majority of them from distributors from California's Central Valley.
The collection can provide researchers with examples of the evolution of art advertising and California agricultural history.
The collection is organized alphabetically by the name of the distributor/packer. The item description for each of the labels
provides the brand name of the product, the city, county, and state location of the packer and the type of fruit advertised.
The following terms have been used to index the description of this collection in the library's online public access catalog.
Fruit crate labels--California--Sources
Citrus fruit industry--California--Sources
Citrus crate labels--California--Sources