Boston Public Library

Produce Crate Labels

Prior to World War II, produce was packed in wooden crates with attractive labels, designed to catch the buyer's eye, pasted on the ends. After the onset of war, rationing, cost cutting, and a search for cheaper materials in every industry motivated the fruit packers to experiment with cardboard containers.

Since wooden crates were more labor intensive, and most available manpower was involved with the war effort, cardboard containers eventually prevailed. By the early 1950's, wooden crates had almost disappeared from the packing houses. The transition to cardboard containers left warehouses full of unused labels.

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