The Sun Singer's Travels

Malcolm R. Campbell's World

Those wonderful orange crate labels

Oranges used to arrive at wholesalers and grocery stores in wooden crates with eye-catching labels on each end. I wish I’d kept some of them before boxes took over and the oranges were put out on shelves with no need for the fancy advertising.

I like putting this kind of information in novels set during that era, so I mentioned several labels in my conjure and crime novel set in 1954, Eulalie and Washerwoman. By today’s standards, some of the labels aren’t politically correct: scantily-clad women, Indians in costumes, and smiling and stereotypical African Americans.

We had them in the house because the used crates were handy for storing stuff. If I’d known the labels would become collector’s items, I would have saved a stack of them.

The label shown here is one of those I mentioned in the novel. When my wife and I were volunteers at a very old general store museum, this is one of the labels we put under glass on the counter as an example of vintage advertising.

Seald Sweet is a Florida-based marketing company, the sunshine state’s answer to California and Arizona orange growers Sunkist.

I know I sound like a broken record (does anyone know what those are any more?) on this point, but details like this add a lot of depth to a novel in terms of time and place settings.


“Eulalie and Washerwoman” is available in e-book, paperback and audiobook fro Thomas-Jacob Publishing.


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