Paper labels have been used since the early 1880s. They were introduced to America by European artists, and this printing process became known as lithography. This was one of the first forms of commercial art. In America, orchard owners used this art as a way to advertise their crops. The labels were designed by artists and were glued on fruit and vegetable crates. Often the labels had very little relationship to the product, but that was not the point. The point was to draw attention to the product. Consequently, some of the images are quite captivating and imaginative.
As the 1950s wore on, cheaper cardboard boxes became plentiful and caused wooden crates with paper labels to be a thing of the past. Many of the labels were left in storage and have been salvaged over the years. They are a real thing of beauty.