Grape Crate Label, Mont’Elisa

By the 1880s, fruit growers and shippers were marking the ends of their wooden shipping crates with colorful paper labels made possible by advances in lithographic printing. The labels identified the source of the fruit, while the designs, images, and names helped encourage brand recognition among buyers. California growers used such labels on grape crates until the 1950s, when printed labels on corrugated cardboard boxes replaced the old wooden crates.
This label for Zinfandel grapes, branded “Mont’Elisa Beauty” along with an image of a pretty young girl, was used by the Riolo Brothers, Italian Americans who packed and shipped grapes out of Roseville, California, near Sacramento. The label boasts that the grapes were not irrigated, indicating a traditional approach to vineyard management called “dry farming,” a practice that concentrates the flavors in fruit.
Object Name
fruit crate label
date made
before 1950
Physical Description
paper (overall material)
overall: 4 7/16 in x 13 in; 11.27125 cm x 33.02 cm
ID Number
accession number
catalog number
FOOD: Transforming the American Table 1950-2000
See more items in
Work and Industry: Agriculture
FOOD: Transforming the American Table 1950-2000
Food: Transforming the American Table, 1950-2000
Data Source
National Museum of American History, Kenneth E. Behring Center
Credit Line
Nanci Edwards

Visitor Comments

Add a comment about this object

**Please read before submitting the form**

Have a comment or question about this object to share with the community? Please use the form below. Selected comments will appear on this page and may receive a museum response (but we can't promise). Please note that we generally cannot answer questions about the history, rarity, or value of your personal artifacts.

Have a question about anything else, or would you prefer a personal response? Please visit our FAQ or contact page.

Personal information will not be shared or result in unsolicited e-mail. See our privacy policy.

Enter the characters shown in the image.