Grape Crate Label, Fresno Bella

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, depicting a woman with beauty-queen looks and a basket full of gorgeous grapes, begs the question: who is the “Fresno Bella,” the lady, the grapes, or both? Distributed by the Heggblade-Marguleas-Tenneco Corporation, Fresno Bella brand grapes were shipped using labels like this out of Del Rey, California, a crossroads town located in the Central Valley’s Fresno County.
Object Name
fruit crate label
date made
before 1950
Physical Description
paper (overall material)
overall: 4 3/8 in x 12 7/8 in; 11.1125 cm x 32.7025 cm
ID Number
accession number
catalog number
See more items in
Work and Industry: Agriculture
FOOD: Transforming the American Table 1950-2000
Food: Transforming the American Table, 1950-2000
Exhibition Location
National Museum of American History
Data Source
National Museum of American History, Kenneth E. Behring Center
Credit Line
Nanci Edwards

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