Sunday, March 27, 2011

"They were cutting-edge innovations"

They're bright. They're bold. They're eye-catching.

California orange crate labels are viewed as quaint kitchen decor today, but there was a time when the colorful logos were cutting-edge innovations in national marketing.

It wasn't long after the completion of the first transcontinental railroad in 1869 that California's citrus economy exploded, thanks to a mild climate and easy access to water. From 1880 to 1893, California citrus acreage grew from a few thousand acres to more than 40,000 — with 90% of it in Southern California, according to Tom Spellman, president of the Citrus Label Society.

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