Western Kitchen Black Pepper Can

Western Kitchen Black Pepper Can

Usage conditions apply
In 1939, Walter Landor arrived in the United States to help install the British training pavilion at the New York World’s Fair. At twenty-six years old, Landor had left his home in Germany to study art and design in Britain, where he became the youngest Fellow of the Royal Society of Industrial Artists. With whispers of war circulating around Europe, Landor decided to stay in the United States and travelled to the West Coast in search of design work. In 1941, Landor and his new wife Josephine Martinelli founded Walter Landor and Associates (today Landor) in their San Francisco apartment. The company specialized in packaging and label design for a number of iconic brands ranging from Marlboro cigarettes to Aunt Jemima to Sara Lee. As the company expanded, Landor’s base of operations moved from his home through several locations until it settled in 1962 on the Klamath, a docked ferryboat in the San Francisco Bay that would become an iconic part of Landor’s own brand.
Purity Foods, Inc., a chain of suburban supermarkets in northern California from 1929 to 1972, united the private label brands of Western Harvest, Western Kitchen, Mission Farm, and Hickory Ranch. In the late-1950s, the company hired Landor to redesign and unify its brands. Extensive consumer research confirmed that customers appreciated economically priced items, but quality and options remained a priority. Research also revealed that consumers associated the Purity logo with a corporate owner, while consumers preferred local brands. In an effort to reach these consumers, Landor designed each product individually, but unified the brands with an inconspicuous Purity logo. The logo connected 130 private label products but appealed to the younger generation’s desires to buy economical, quality products.
Currently not on view
Object Name
spice can
overall: 9.5 cm x 7 cm x 4 cm; 3 3/4 in x 2 3/4 in x 1 9/16 in
ID Number
accession number
catalog number
Credit Line
Bequest of Walter and Josephine Landor
Data Source
National Museum of American History
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