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Jay T. Last Collection of American Food: California Citrus Box Labels: Finding Aid
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Collection Overview
 
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Description
The California Citrus Box Labels, a subset within the Jay T. Last Collection of American Food, contains more than 1000 lithographed labels that relate to the California citrus industry in the United States from 1880 to 1960, with the bulk of the collection dating from 1910 through 1930. The collection consists largely of lithographed labels produced for Southern Californian growers, packers and distributors to identify brand names and packing locations on wooden crates of oranges, lemons and grapefruits. The majority of labels were printed by Los Angeles and San Francisco lithographers, such as the Western Lithograph Company and the Schmidt Lithograph Company.
Background
The Jay T. Last Collection is an unparalleled archive of printed paper artifacts that documents American lithographic, social, and business history. The collection began in the early 1970s when physicist and Silicon Valley pioneer Jay Last moved to Southern California and started collecting citrus box labels he found at local flea markets and rummage sales. As his collection grew, Last realized that these labels conveyed important information about commercial printing, graphic design, and social history, and he expanded his collection to include other forms of American visual culture. Today this collection contains more than 185,000 lithographic prints, posters, and ephemera of mostly nineteenth and early twentieth century American origin and represents works by more than five hundred lithographic companies.
Extent
approximately 1020 items in 9 boxes
Restrictions
In order to quote from, publish, or reproduce any of the visual materials, researchers must obtain formal permission from the office of the Library Director. Permission for publication is given on behalf of the Huntington 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.
Availability
The collection is open to qualified researchers by prior application through the Reader Services Department. For more information, please visit the Huntington's website: www.huntington.org.