Riverside Public Library Citrus Label Collection
Owning Institution: Riverside Public Library
About this CollectionThe Citrus Label Collection consists of citrus labels (mostly orange, but some lemon and grapefruit examples) mainly from the southern California counties of Riverside, San Bernardino, Los Angeles, and Orange. The collection ranges from early naturalistic labels like Gypsy Queen (1891) to a later example of commercial art, Terra Bella (1952). The subjects featured on labels in the collection vary widely and include sports ( Athlete); animal and floral designs ( Mallard and Camellia); architectural and natural landscapes (Mission Bridge and Yosemite); portraits of women and children (Co-Ed and Vulture ); marine scenes (Chinook); western and other historical images ( Yellow Aster); patriotic illustration (Columbia); and several depictions of citrus fruit and orchards. The collection also includes a number of stock labels, items that were illustrated but never printed. These labels were used to mark inferior fruit under another brand name or as an alternative to custom labels. As well as the wide range of subject matter, a few of the brand labels vary in size, with some noticeably smaller for 1/2-size boxes or larger than the standard. The collection includes some citrus related materials in the form of six printed orange wrappers and a slide collection. The citrus label collection can provide researchers with examples of the evolution of art advertising and local business history. But the collection is not limited to these two main subjects. For example, images of the noble savage ( Prairie Belle) and other Native American stereotypes (such as Heap Good) could also provide information for the researcher investigating the use of American Indians in advertising. Citrus labels were created as a way of grabbing the eye of the buyer but their images endure.
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