Jay T. Last Collection of Food: Fruit and Vegetable Labels: Finding Aid

Finding aid prepared by Charla DelaCuadra.
The Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens.
Prints and Ephemera
The Huntington Library
1151 Oxford Road
San Marino, California 91108
Phone: (626) 405-2191
Email: reference@huntington.org
URL: http://www.huntington.org
© 2015
The Huntington Library. All rights reserved.


Overview of the Collection

Title: Jay T. Last Collection of Food: Fruit and Vegetable Labels
Dates (inclusive): approximately 1870-1975
Bulk dates: 1890-1950
Collection Number: priJLC_FOOD_FtVeg
Collector: Last, Jay T.
Extent: 9,120 items
Repository: The Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens. Prints and Ephemera
1151 Oxford Road
San Marino, California 91108
Phone: (626) 405-2191
Email: reference@huntington.org
URL: http://www.huntington.org
Abstract: The Jay T. Last Collection of Food: Fruit and Vegetable Labels contains over 9,000 printed produce labels from the 1870s to the 1970s, with the majority of items dating from 1890 to 1950. The collection is comprised mainly of color lithographs.
Language: English.
Note:
Finding aid last updated on August 28, 2017.

Access

Open to qualified researchers by prior application through the Reader Services Department. For more information, contact Reader Services.

Administrative Information

Publication Rights

The Huntington Library does not require that researchers request permission to quote from or publish images of this material, nor does it charge fees for such activities. The responsibility for identifying the copyright holder, if there is one, and obtaining necessary permissions rests with the researcher.

Preferred Citation

[Item title, Call number]. Jay T. Last Collection of Food: Fruit and Vegetable Labels, The Huntington Library, San Marino, California.

Provenance

This collection forms part of the Jay T. Last Collection of Graphic Arts and Social History, which was donated to the Huntington Library by Jay T. Last in 2005 as a gift in progress. The bulk of the fruit and vegetable labels were transferred to the Library between 2010 and 2012.

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 200,000 lithographic prints, posters, and ephemera of mostly nineteenth- and early twentieth- century American origin and represents works by more than five hundred lithographic companies.

Scope and Content

The Jay T. Last Collection of Food: Fruit and Vegetable Labels contains over 9,000 printed produce labels from the 1870s to the 1970s, with the majority of items dating from 1890 to 1950. The collection is comprised mainly of color lithographs.
Materials are arranged in two series: small-size items (11 x 14 inches or less) and large-size items (more than 11 x 14 inches). Small-size items are described broadly at the series level; large-size items are fully inventoried and all printers, artists, and publishers are indexed by name. The collection includes over 30 large-size product labels for produce. Small-size labels number approximately 8,350. Materials include barrel and can labels as well as multiple kinds of box labels.
While the collection is primarily American, it does contain a small quantity of foreign produce labels. Most notably, Boxes 9-11 contain Spanish citrus labels, while other boxes and binders have fruit and vegetable labels from Australia, Canada, Mexico and New Zealand.
Also of note are three boxes of Blue Goose brand labels produced for American Fruit Growers, Inc. Other A.F.G. labels can be found throughout the collection, but Blue Goose items were isolated by the collector to create a comprehensive look at the brand.
PLEASE NOTE: Most California citrus labels collected by Jay T. Last are in the finding aid for the Jay T. Last Collection of Food: California Citrus Box Labels.  
Overall the collection identifies produce growers and merchandisers, reveals advertising trends and consumption habits, and provides a resource for studying the history of American fruit and vegetable production, including the canning, packing, and shipping industries that evolved in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Many labels predictably depict colorful images of fruits or vegetables, but pictures of women, children, animals, flowers, and views of farms, orchards, and vineyards also sold the product. As graphic materials, these labels offer evidence of developing techniques and trends in printmaking, and of the artists, engravers, lithographers, and publishers involved in the creative process.

Alternative Form of Materials Available

Visit the Huntington Digital Library: Jay T. Last Collection   to view digitized items from this collection.

Related materials in the Huntington Library

Arrangement

The collection is arranged in the following 2 series:
  • Series I. Fruit and Vegetable Labels (small size)
    • Subseries A. Fruit Labels (small size)
    • Subseries B. Vegetable Labels (small size)
    • Subseries C. American Fruit Growers Inc. Blue Goose Labels (small size)
  • Series II. Fruit and Vegetable Labels (large size)
    • Subseries A. Fruit Labels (large size)
    • Subseries B. Vegetable Labels (large size)
    • Subseries C. American Fruit Growers Inc. Blue Goose Labels (large size)

Indexing Terms

The following terms have been used to index the description of this collection in the Huntington Library's Online Catalog.  

Genres

Chromolithographs.
Ephemera.
Ephemera -- United States -- 19th century.
Ephemera -- United States -- 20th century.
Fruit crate labels.
Intaglio prints.
Labels.
Lithographs.
Printed ephemera.
Relief prints.

Subjects

Advertising -- Farm produce.
Citrus fruit industry.
Fruit -- Pictorial works.
Vegetables -- Pictorial works.

Printer, Publisher, Artist Index

The following is a complete list of printers, publishers, and artists represented in the large-size items in this collection.
A.L. Bancroft & Company.
Dickman-Jones Co.
F.A. Read (Firm)
Forbes Lithograph Manufacturing Company.
H.S. Crocker & Co.
National Bureau of Engraving (Philadelphia, Pa.)
Schmidt Label & Litho. Co.
Schmidt Litho. Co.
Simpson & Doeller Co.
Stecher-Traung.
W.W. Elliott & Co.


Collection Contents

 

Series I. Fruit and Vegetable Labels (small size) approximately 1880-1975 (bulk 1890-1950)

Physical Description: approximately 9,090 items in 33 binders and 49 flat-top boxes

Arrangement

This series is grouped into 3 subseries:
  • Subseries A. Fruit Labels (small size)
  • Subseries B. Vegetable Labels (small size)
  • Subseries C. American Fruit Growers Inc. Blue Goose Labels (small size)
Items smaller than 8 x 10 inches are housed in binders. Items that measure between 8 x 10 inches and 11 x 14 inches in size are sleeved and arranged in boxes. Materials are organized by product type and then alphabetically by state and title. Labels in this series are box labels unless otherwise designated. General labels (i.e. those for fruits, fruits and vegetables, produce, etc.) that do not specify a particular type of produce are referred to in this finding aid as "generic" labels.
 

Subseries A. Fruit Labels (small size)

Box  1

Apple box labels, California, A-N by title (between 8 x 10 inches and 11 x 14 inches in size)

Physical Description: approximately 80 items
Box  2

Apple box labels, California, O-Z by title (between 8 x 10 inches and 11 x 14 inches in size)

Physical Description: approximately 75 items
Box  3

Apple box labels, Oregon and Washington, A-Z by title (between 8 x 10 inches and 11 x 14 inches in size)

Physical Description: approximately 115 items
Box  4

Apple box labels, misc. states, A-Z by title (between 8 x 10 inches and 11 x 14 inches in size)

Physical Description: approximately 40 items
Box  5

Apple box labels, foreign, A-Z by title (between 8 x 10 inches and 11 x 14 inches in size)

Physical Description: approximately 100 items
Binder  1

Berry box labels, misc. states, A-Z by fruit (8 x 10 inches or smaller in size)

Physical Description: approximately 80 items
Box  6

Citrus box labels, Arizona, misc. states and foreign, A-Z by title (between 8 x 10 inches and 11 x 14 inches in size)

Physical Description: approximately 105 items
Box  7

Citrus box labels, Texas, A-Q by title (between 8 x 10 inches and 11 x 14 inches in size)

Physical Description: approximately 85 items
Box  8

Citrus box labels, Texas, R-Z by title (between 8 x 10 inches and 11 x 14 inches in size)

Physical Description: approximately 110 items
Box  9

Citrus box labels, foreign (Spain), A-G by title (between 8 x 10 inches and 11 x 14 inches in size)

Physical Description: approximately 115 items
Box  10

Citrus box labels, foreign (Spain), H-Q by title (between 8 x 10 inches and 11 x 14 inches in size)

Physical Description: approximately 95 items
Box  11

Citrus box labels, foreign (Spain), R-Z by title (between 8 x 10 inches and 11 x 14 inches in size)

Physical Description: approximately 75 items
Box  12

Grape box labels, California, A-B by title (between 8 x 10 inches and 11 x 14 inches in size)

Physical Description: approximately 155 items
Box  13

Grape box labels, California, C-E by title (between 8 x 10 inches and 11 x 14 inches in size)

Physical Description: approximately 205 items
Box  14

Grape box labels, California, F-K by title (between 8 x 10 inches and 11 x 14 inches in size)

Physical Description: approximately 205 items
Box  15

Grape box labels, California, L-P by title (between 8 x 10 inches and 11 x 14 inches in size)

Physical Description: approximately 210 items
Box  16

Grape box labels, California, Q-S by title (between 8 x 10 inches and 11 x 14 inches in size)

Physical Description: approximately 210 items
Box  17

Grape box labels, California, T-Z by title, misc. states and generic, A-Z by title (between 8 x 10 inches and 11 x 14 inches in size)

Physical Description: approximately 155 items
Box  18

Raisin box labels, California, A-Z by company (between 8 x 10 inches and 11 x 14 inches in size)

Physical Description: approximately 95 items
Box  47

Raisin box labels, foreign, A-Z by company and generic (between 8 x 10 inches and 11 x 14 inches in size)

Physical Description: approximately 40 items
Box  19

Melon box labels, California, A-L by title (between 8 x 10 inches and 11 x 14 inches in size)

Physical Description: approximately 155 items
Box  20

Melon box labels, California, M-Z by title (between 8 x 10 inches and 11 x 14 inches in size)

Physical Description: approximately 160 items
Box  21

Melon box labels, misc. states and foreign, A-Z by title (between 8 x 10 inches and 11 x 14 inches in size)

Physical Description: approximately 205 items
Binder  2

Peach box labels, misc. states, A-Z by title (8 x 10 inches or smaller in size)

Physical Description: approximately 175 items
Binder  3

Pear box labels, California, A-K by title (8 x 10 inches or smaller in size)

Physical Description: approximately 110 items
Binder  4

Pear box labels, California, L-Z by title (8 x 10 inches or smaller in size)

Physical Description: approximately 135 items
Binder  5

Pear box labels, Oregon and Washington, A-Z by title (8 x 10 inches or smaller in size)

Physical Description: approximately 75 items
Binder  6

Pear box labels, foreign, A-Z by title (8 x 10 inches or smaller in size)

Physical Description: approximately 30 items
Box  23

Tomato box labels, Arizona and Mexico, A-Z by title (between 8 x 10 inches and 11 x 14 inches in size)

Physical Description: approximately 235 items
Box  24

Tomato box labels, California, A-Z by title (between 8 x 10 inches and 11 x 14 inches in size)

Physical Description: approximately 260 items
Box  25

Tomato box labels, Florida, A-Z by title (between 8 x 10 inches and 11 x 14 inches in size)

Physical Description: approximately 55 items
Box  26

Tomato box labels, Texas, A-Z by title (between 8 x 10 inches and 11 x 14 inches in size)

Physical Description: approximately 205 items
Box  27

Tomato box labels, misc. states and foreign, A-Z by title (between 8 x 10 inches and 11 x 14 inches in size)

Physical Description: approximately 40 items
Box  28

Fruit box labels, California, A-K by fruit (between 8 x 10 inches and 11 x 14 inches in size)

Physical Description: approximately 200 items
Box  29

Fruit box labels, California, L-Z by fruit (between 8 x 10 inches and 11 x 14 inches in size)

Physical Description: approximately 90 items
Box  22

Fruit box labels, misc. states, A-Z by fruit (between 8 x 10 inches and 11 x 14 inches in size)

Physical Description: approximately 15 items
Binder  7

Fruit box labels, misc. states, A-Z by fruit (8 x 10 inches or smaller in size)

Physical Description: approximately 115 items
Box  30

Fruit box labels, California, generic, A-D by title (between 8 x 10 inches and 11 x 14 inches in size)

Physical Description: approximately 205 items
Box  31

Fruit box labels, California, generic, E-L by title (between 8 x 10 inches and 11 x 14 inches in size)

Physical Description: approximately 200 items
Box  32

Fruit box labels, California, generic, M-R by title (between 8 x 10 inches and 11 x 14 inches in size)

Physical Description: approximately 180 items
Box  33

Fruit box labels, California, generic, S-Z by title (between 8 x 10 inches and 11 x 14 inches in size)

Physical Description: approximately 195 items
Binder  8

Fruit box labels, misc. states, generic, A-Z by title (8 x 10 inches or smaller in size)

Physical Description: approximately 55 items
Box  34

Fruit can labels, California, A-F by fruit (between 8 x 10 inches and 11 x 14 inches in size)

Physical Description: approximately 220 items
Box  35

Fruit can labels, California, G-Peaches by fruit (between 8 x 10 inches and 11 x 14 inches in size)

Physical Description: approximately 225 items
Box  36

Fruit can labels, California, Pears-Z by fruit and generic, A-Z by title (between 8 x 10 inches and 11 x 14 inches in size)

Physical Description: approximately 170 items
Box  37

Fruit can labels, misc. states and foreign, A-S by fruit (between 8 x 10 inches and 11 x 14 inches in size)

Physical Description: approximately 100 items
Box  48

Fruit can labels, misc. states and foreign, T-Z by fruit (between 8 x 10 inches and 11 x 14 inches in size)

Physical Description: approximately 180 items
Binder  32

Fruit can labels, misc. states, A-Z by fruit and generic, A-Z by title (8 x 10 inches or smaller in size)

Physical Description: approximately 55 items
 

Subseries B. Vegetable Labels (small size)

Box  38

Asparagus box labels, California, A-Z by title (between 8 x 10 inches and 11 x 14 inches in size)

Physical Description: approximately 120 items
Binder  9

Lettuce box labels, California, A-K by title (8 x 10 inches or smaller in size)

Physical Description: approximately 80 items
Binder  10

Lettuce box labels, California, L-Z by title (8 x 10 inches or smaller in size)

Physical Description: approximately 75 items
Binder  11

Lettuce box labels, misc. states, A-Z by title (8 x 10 inches or smaller in size)

Physical Description: approximately 50 items
Box  39

Yam and potato box labels, California, A-Z by title (between 8 x 10 inches and 11 x 14 inches in size)

Physical Description: approximately 115 items
Box  40

Vegetable box labels, California, A-Z by vegetable (between 8 x 10 inches and 11 x 14 inches in size)

Physical Description: approximately 35 items
Binder  12

Vegetable box labels, misc. states, A-Car by vegetable (8 x 10 inches or smaller in size)

Physical Description: approximately 90 items
Binder  13

Vegetable box labels, misc. states, Cau-Ce by vegetable (8 x 10 inches or smaller in size)

Physical Description: approximately 90 items
Binder  14

Vegetable box labels, misc. states, Ch-L by vegetable (8 x 10 inches or smaller in size)

Physical Description: approximately 25 items
Binder  15

Vegetable box labels, misc. states, M-Z by vegetable (8 x 10 inches or smaller in size)

Physical Description: approximately 100 items
Binder  16

Vegetable box labels, Arizona, generic, A-J by title (8 x 10 inches or smaller in size)

Physical Description: approximately 105 items
Binder  17

Vegetable box labels, Arizona, generic, K-Z by title (8 x 10 inches or smaller in size)

Physical Description: approximately 115 items
Binder  18

Vegetable box labels, California, generic, A-B by title (8 x 10 inches or smaller in size)

Physical Description: approximately 95 items
Binder  19

Vegetable box labels, California, generic, C-D by title (8 x 10 inches or smaller in size)

Physical Description: approximately 95 items
Binder  20

Vegetable box labels, California, generic, E-Go by title (8 x 10 inches or smaller in size)

Physical Description: approximately 80 items
Binder  21

Vegetable box labels, California, generic, Gr-J by title (8 x 10 inches or smaller in size)

Physical Description: approximately 85 items
Binder  22

Vegetable box labels, California, generic, K-M by title (8 x 10 inches or smaller in size)

Physical Description: approximately 90 items
Binder  23

Vegetable box labels, California, generic, N-Q by title (8 x 10 inches or smaller in size)

Physical Description: approximately 80 items
Binder  24

Vegetable box labels, California, generic, R-Sm by title (8 x 10 inches or smaller in size)

Physical Description: approximately 80 items
Binder  25

Vegetable box labels, California, generic, Sn-T by title (8 x 10 inches or smaller in size)

Physical Description: approximately 85 items
Binder  26

Vegetable box labels, California, generic, U-Z by title (8 x 10 inches or smaller in size)

Physical Description: approximately 65 items
Box  41

Vegetable box labels, California, generic, A-Z by title (between 8 x 10 inches and 11 x 14 inches in size)

Physical Description: approximately 100 items
Binder  27

Vegetable box labels, Texas, generic, A-G by title (8 x 10 inches or smaller in size)

Physical Description: approximately 70 items
Binder  28

Vegetable box labels, Texas, generic, H-R by title (8 x 10 inches or smaller in size)

Physical Description: approximately 85 items
Binder  29

Vegetable box labels, Texas, generic, S-Z by title (8 x 10 inches or smaller in size)

Physical Description: approximately 65 items
Binder  30

Vegetable box labels, misc. states, generic, A-I by title (8 x 10 inches or smaller in size)

Physical Description: approximately 90 items
Binder  31

Vegetable box labels, misc. states, generic, J-Z by title and foreign, A-Z by title (8 x 10 inches or smaller in size)

Physical Description: approximately 75 items
Box  42

Vegetable box labels, misc. states, A-Z by vegetable and generic (between 8 x 10 inches and 11 x 14 inches in size)

Physical Description: approximately 60 items
Box  43

Vegetable can labels, misc. states, A-O by vegetable (between 8 x 10 inches and 11 x 14 inches in size)

Physical Description: approximately 60 items
Box  49

Vegetable can labels, misc. states, P-Z by vegetable (between 8 x 10 inches and 11 x 14 inches in size)

Physical Description: approximately 175 items
Binder  33

Vegetable can labels, misc. states, A-Z by vegetable and generic, A-Z by title (8 x 10 inches or smaller in size)

Physical Description: approximately 30 items
 

Subseries C. American Fruit Growers Inc. Blue Goose Labels (small size)

Box  44

Blue Goose citrus box labels, A-Z by title (between 8 x 10 inches and 11 x 14 inches in size)

Physical Description: approximately 60 items
Box  45

Blue Goose fruit box labels, A-Z by fruit (between 8 x 10 inches and 11 x 14 inches in size)

Physical Description: approximately 95 items
Box  46

Blue Goose vegetable box labels, A-Z by vegetable (between 8 x 10 inches and 11 x 14 inches in size)

Physical Description: approximately 10 items
 

Series II. Fruit and Vegetable Labels (large size) approximately 1871-1966

Physical Description: 32 items

Arrangement

This series is grouped into 3 subseries:
  • Subseries A. Fruit Labels (large size)
  • Subseries B. Vegetable Labels (large size)
  • Subseries C. American Fruit Growers Inc. Blue Goose Labels (large size)
Within each subseries, items are arranged numerically by call number and described in the following format:
  • Title of print. Date
  • Artist(s) (when known). Printer(s). Publisher(s).
 

Subseries A. Fruit Labels (large size)

priJLC_FOOD_FtVeg_001947

Golden gate brand genuine imperiale epineuse prunes. after 1898

Printers: Forbes Lithograph Manufacturing Company
priJLC_FOOD_FtVeg_001948

Balloon brand packed by the Hanford Raisin & Dried Fruit Packing Co. Hanford, Cal. approximately 1888-1899

Printers: Dickman-Jones Co.
priJLC_FOOD_FtVeg_001949

California cluster raisins. approximately 1883-1899

Printers: Schmidt Label & Litho. Co.
priJLC_FOOD_FtVeg_001950

Eclipse brand. approximately 1892-1897

Printers: H.S. Crocker & Co.
priJLC_FOOD_FtVeg_001951

The Griffin & Skelley Company raisin packers California. approximately 1888-1899

Printers: Dickman-Jones Co.
priJLC_FOOD_FtVeg_001952

McPherson brand. California raisins. approximately 1879-1885

Printers: W.W. Elliott & Co.
priJLC_FOOD_FtVeg_001953

Muscatel Raisins. McPherson Bros. Orange, Cal. approximately 1872-1877

priJLC_FOOD_FtVeg_001954

Rancho Chico muscatel raisins. ©1880

Printers: A.L. Bancroft & Company
priJLC_FOOD_FtVeg_001955

San Juan brand superior muscatel raisins. McPherson, Cal. approximately 1872-1877

Printers: H.S. Crocker & Co.
priJLC_FOOD_FtVeg_001956

Muscatel raisins. Josephine vineyard, Napoleon Vieu, proprietor, Fresno, Cal. approximately 1871-1921

Printers: H.S. Crocker & Co.
priJLC_FOOD_FtVeg_001957

Jno. T. Gordon, El Cajon Valley, San Diego Co., Cal. approximately 1871-1921

Printers: H.S. Crocker & Co.
priJLC_FOOD_FtVeg_001958

Fresno Raisin & Fruit Packing Co. Geo. W. Meade & Co. agents. Fresno and San Francisco. California. approximately 1871-1921

Printers: H.S. Crocker & Co.
priJLC_FOOD_FtVeg_001967

Sultana. approximately 1880-1890

priJLC_FOOD_FtVeg_001968

Black swan. approximately 1936-1966

Printers: Stecher-Traung
priJLC_FOOD_FtVeg_001969

Motor cop perfect peaches. approximately 1930s

priJLC_FOOD_FtVeg_001970

The Oleander Co-operative Packing Co. Oleander. Fresno Co., Cal. approximately 1888-1899

Printers: Dickman-Jones Co.
priJLC_FOOD_FtVeg_001971

California raisins grown & packed by El Cajon Vineyard Co. El Cajon Valley, Cal. approximately 1888-1899

Printers: Dickman-Jones Co.
priJLC_FOOD_FtVeg_001972

Packed by the Fresno Raisin & Fruit Packing Co. Fresno, Cal. approximately 1877-1909

Printers: National Bureau of Engraving (Philadelphia, Pa.)
priJLC_FOOD_FtVeg_001973

Robin Brand packed by the Home Packing Company. California. approximately 1890-1920

priJLC_FOOD_FtVeg_001977

California Sun-Maid imperial cluster muscat raisins. after 1916

Printers: Schmidt Litho. Co.
priJLC_FOOD_FtVeg_001983

H. F. Byrd Winchester, Va. after 1906

priJLC_FOOD_FtVeg_001984

Chandler orchards located Milton, Del. & Lake Winola, Pa. approximately 1920s

Printers: F.A. Read (Firm)
priJLC_FOOD_FtVeg_001985

Packed for S. A. Les fruits de France, Paris. approximately 1897-1954

Printers: Simpson & Doeller Co.
priJLC_FOOD_FtVeg_001986

Higrade Virginia apples for flavor. after 1912

priJLC_FOOD_FtVeg_001987

"Jersey Jerry" brand fruits. after 1922

priJLC_FOOD_FtVeg_001988

J.P. Neff & Son Inc. Pocahontas brand. approximately 1930-1945

priJLC_FOOD_FtVeg_001989

Queen Shenandoah brand. after 1916

priJLC_FOOD_FtVeg_001990

Red cardinal : Sorenson & Co. Inc. exporters - New York. ©1926

priJLC_FOOD_FtVeg_001991

Strasburg Orchard and Produce Co. Strasburg, Virginia. after 1907

priJLC_FOOD_FtVeg_001992

Strathmore Farm & Orchard Co. Inc. after 1917

 

Subseries B. Vegetable Labels (large size)

priJLC_FOOD_FtVeg_003732

Sunniland Florida celery. approximately 1898-1928

 

Subseries C. American Fruit Growers Inc. Blue Goose Labels (large size)

priJLC_FOOD_FtVeg_003935

Blue Goose. after 1919