Fruit crate label art Peaches
Commercial peach crops have been around for centuries. The fruit was originally cultivated in China and eventually made it’s way to parts of the Middle East and Europe. Peach trees were brought to the United States by a Virginia planter, George Minifie, long before the Revolutionary War. The crop was popular in southern states but was really just for local consumption. Georgia actually has the perfect weather for growing peaches and when commercial growing commenced, it came to dominate the market.
However some other states also grow peaches, including California, Michigan, Washington and New Jersey. Peaches are not as hardy as oranges, so they are a little harder to transport to market. The fruit usually was shipped in containers where there were only 1 or 2 layers of the fruit to minimize bruising of the fruit during transportation.
Commercial peach production started about the time as the apple industry and used similar shipping methods. However, because the fruit bruises easily, it was mostly shipped in smaller boxes with the peaches usually in a single layer to prevent damage. However some larger boxes with internal dividers were used, so some larger labels were created.
The products were at first shipped in plain wooden containers, but sellers soon realized that placing graphics along the sides of the crates was cheap, effective advertising. These colorful labels helped sell the product and today are prized collectibles. Most labels date from about the 1880's to just after WWII.
These are some of the early 20th century peach fruit crate labels.