HILL BRAND Fancy Vinehill Gravenstein Apples were the Earliest Apples Grown in Sonoma County. They were Grown and Packed by A. B. Hill, Sebastopol, California. This old fashioned commercial art box poster pictures three large Gravenstein apples hanging from a branch and looking plump and just ready to be picked. An ornate grape arbor frames the detailed scene entitled "Gravenstein Apple Orchard Vinehill" and "Packing House Vine Hill". Eucalyptus trees surround the two story packing shed while the apple orchard stretches to the horizon. Three horse drawn wagons work to haul the boxed apples while the big boss looks on from the comfort of his new 1916 Hupmobile. HILL BRAND Fancy Vinehill Gravenstein Apples is an apple box label in use during the early part of last Century. The detailed artwork on this Vintage Apple Box label from Sebastopol, California is one of the finest examples of early American Advertising Art in California.This early 1900's agriculture themed label is indeed an historic California Apple Industry document created by Schmidt Litho. Co., San Francisco. We have Custom framed this excellent example of American advertising art in copper and glass; it's ready to decorate your home or Packing Shed. Measures 10 ½ x 9 ½ inches. This fine old original ranch print produce label was lithographed during a time when lead, cobalt and other compounds were often introduced as a part of the ink used to make the images brilliant, vivid and colorful. "While apples hae been grown in nearly all parts of California, major commercial production is centered in two relatively small areas, the Pajaro Valley near Watsonville, about 80 miles south of San Francisco, and the Sebastopol area near the Russian River, about 60 miles north of San Francisco. The Pajaro Valley industry was developed in the 1890's by immigrants, from the area for a time known as Yugosalavia, who continue to be the main growers and marketers of Watsonville fruit. Due to the prevalence of fog and the lack of sharp frosty nights prior to harvest, red varieties of apples do not attain a high color in this region. The most successful commercial variety is the yellow Newtown Pippin, a hard, crisp, juicy apple which ripens in the late fall. Apple production started in the Sebastopol area in the early 1900's. The main variety grown is the Gravenstein, a red striped apple which ripens in the summer, before fruit from most other areas are ready for market. Since California apples were shipped by rail, the bushel basket and the barrel used in the East were not satisfactory. A rectangular box with a volume of approximately one bushel was developed. A label about 10 1/4" x 9" was customarily used. Apples were shipped directly from the Watsonville and Sebastopol areas, as well as by large distributors in San Fransicso." Fruit Box Labels, McClelland & Last, 1983 Vintage Fruit Crate Labels have been discovered over the years in a large variety of Nooks and Crannies. In the North Western U.S.A. packing sheds built during the 1880’s have sheltered unused box labels atop attic rafters, inside timber-built walls and beneath floorboards. Others have been found simply languishing in the company file cabinet or safe. The following tells of the discovery of a one hundred year-old find undisturbed until recently in Western Montana near the Bitterroot Mountains. In the words of a newly minted archeologist: “ Well it was a dark and stormy night............and something odd with the bathroom light caused my husband to venture up into the attic and investigate the wiring. Its a good thing he checked on it, kind of an amateurish job from a former tenant. I guess nobody ever noticed the cardboard box at the far end of the attic, snuggled up to an old brick chimney, or maybe if they did they weren't interested in the contents. They were not charming to see at first glance. Lots of dust and dirt and the box was falling apart but Craig knows I like old things and he could tell that some of the labels were nice so he brought them out. Plus it was apple labels and we live over the apple cellar and they said Bitterroot Valley on them. As far as knowing anything about labels as a collectors item, neither one of us had any idea. We thought maybe friends or family would like one framed up and did a few of those but after that they languished in a newer card board box in a closet for a couple of years.” The particular apple label discussed may be searched for and purchased on www.AntiqueLabelCompany.com Here’s a description of this fine old stone lithographed image: Mountain Valley Apples A beautiful 100 year-old apple box label from the Bitterroot Mountains of Western Montana near the Idaho border. “Grown By Kress & Carey, Hamilton, Montana.” A fine example of stone lithography by “Bankers Supply Co.”, Denver, Colorado. The image created shows a variety what would now be referred to as “Heirloom” apples. Big luscious apples of several sizes, shapes and colors come tumbling from an over-turned wicker basket onto the prairie grass. In the distance can be seen two small ranch buildings nestled amidst the apple orchard. Farther we see pine trees and the snow covered Bitterroot Mountains rising majestically.