BLUE BIRD, Caruso's, Southern Fruit Distributors Inc., growers, packers and canners, Orlando, Florida; Caruso; features a bluebird ready to take flight from its perch on an oak limb with autumn leaves; 6 ¾ X 6 ¾. This rare Florida Orange Crate Label is Custom framed in copper and glass, ready to decorate your kitchen wall; An Original Old Label/antique animal print. "Although oranges have been grown in Florida since the 1500's when the Spanish explorers arrived, production on a large commercial scale did not begin until the early 1900's. A major expansion of the industry took place in the 1920's, during the Florida land boom. At the present time, three-quarters of the oranges grown in the United States come from Florida, along with over half the world's grapefruit. The main citrus growing area in Florida is in the slightly elevated central part of the state, with extension to the Indian River district on the Atlantic coast, and areas on the Gulf of Mexico. Because of Florida's humidity, citrus fruits are especially juicy. The key varieties of oranges grown are the Valencia, the Parson Brown, and the Pineapple, all of which ripen in the spring and summer. Before the switch to cardboard boxes in the 1950's, Florida citrus fruit was packed in nailed wooden boxes or in lightweight collapsible boxes with wood slats held together with wire. The original boxes were very large, holding about 90 pounds. Due to handling problems, they were replaced with boxes half the size, holding about a bushel. Even smaller boxes were occasionally used. Florida citrus labels were relatively small, filling only the center of the box end. The most popular size were 9" x 9" and 6" x 6". Smaller labels were sometimes used." Fruit Box Labels, McClelland and Last, 1983 (Out of Print) Here’s what happened with these colorful old Fruit Crate Labels some years ago in Florida. Two different California guys I know went to Florida numerous times in the late 60’s and early 70’s. They’d fly down and rent a big Buick or Olds Sedan then drive around to the packing houses asking if they could pick up the left-over packs of old crate labels. At that time the growers had long-since switched over from the wooden crates requiring the glued on paper label in favor of the modern pre-printed cardboard box. Some of those Buicks were pretty well loaded down with labels on the return trip to California. No-one seemed to be collecting the old Florida labels at the time but all that interest sure got people thinking. Presently there are a huge number of collectors including many Florida museums.