Grape Basket Label, Lake Keuka Concords

Grape Basket Label, Lake Keuka Concords

Usage conditions apply
Horticulturalist Ephraim Wales Bull developed Concord grapes in 1849, through experiments with wild, native grapes (Vitis labrusca). The grape’s name derives from the location of Bull’s research--Concord, Massachusetts. Concords flourished in the Finger Lakes region of New York State and by the 1870s there was a vigorous trade in shipping ripe Concords to buyers around the country. Used as table grapes as well as for making jelly and Kosher wine, Concord production increased significantly in the late 19th century. Their most famous application was in the making of non-fermented grape juice, a process introduced by Dr. Thomas Welch, of New Jersey, in 1869.
This colorful printed label was for “Gold Star Brand” Concords, a brand shipped by Samuel McMath & Co., out of Penn Yan, a village nestled on the north end of the east branch of Keuka Lake, one of New York’s Finger Lakes. Established in 1875, McMath’s company was one of several that shipped wooden baskets of grapes by rail to commercial processors and retail businesses. Labels like this would have been pasted on the lids of the “pony” baskets, 1250 of which could fit in a single rail car. McMath died in 1918 and his son John continued buying and shipping grapes out of Penn Yan until 1932.
Currently not on view
Object Name
crate label
Physical Description
paper (overall material)
multicolor (overall color)
overall: 4 3/4 in x 10 7/16 in; 12.065 cm x 26.51125 cm
ID Number
accession number
catalog number
See more items in
Work and Industry: Food Technology
Data Source
National Museum of American History
Nominate this object for photography.   

Our collection database is a work in progress. We may update this record based on further research and review. Learn more about our approach to sharing our collection online.

If you would like to know how you can use content on this page, see the Smithsonian's Terms of Use. If you need to request an image for publication or other use, please visit Rights and Reproductions.


Add a comment about this object