Label Made Me Buy It; From Aunt Jemima to Zonkers

Label Made Me Buy It; From Aunt Jemima to Zonkers

by Ralph Kovel, Terry Kovel
     
 

Smoking chimneys, Aunt Jemima, streamlined trains, and Trojans have all decorated labels to help sell everything from soup to cigars. More than 300 striking labels feature these images and more—from bathing beauties and cherubic babies to Abraham Lincoln and Peter Pan.

When Ralph and Terry Kovel started collecting labels, they learned that every label is…  See more details below

Overview

Smoking chimneys, Aunt Jemima, streamlined trains, and Trojans have all decorated labels to help sell everything from soup to cigars. More than 300 striking labels feature these images and more—from bathing beauties and cherubic babies to Abraham Lincoln and Peter Pan.

When Ralph and Terry Kovel started collecting labels, they learned that every label is an ad and a mystery. A label is designed to catch your eye, entice you to buy, tell you what the product is, why it's wonderful, and even if it's good for you. But if you learn to read clues on a label, it can tell you much more—who made the product, when it was made, and the consumer laws that governed its packaging, as well as the fashions, hairstyles, humor, prejudices, pleasures, and political ideals of the past.

The Label Made Me Buy It shows you the clues to look for. Learn the history of brands and companies, trace the methods used by label lithographers, and discover the romance and ingenuity of label designers. You'll also find out what "4011" means on a banana sticker, why grocery boxes are seldom black, and why a grape label picturing a tiger had to explain that the crate did not hold tiger meat.

The labels in this book range from salmon and tomato labels of the 1860s to frozen pie labels from the 1970s. The products include tobacco, citrus fruit, candy, firecrackers, fabrics, canned goods, and condoms. Many show mouthwatering images of the foods we love or emotional representations of the childhood we remember.

Label collecting has become a hobby of interest not only to collectors, but also artists and historians. Tobacco, citrus fruit, and food labels, firecracker packages,and product stickers are eagerly bought, sold, and traded through organized clubs, auctions, shows, and the internet.

This book will help historians understand why a label featured Chief Red Cloud, Joe Cannon, or Penrod—all well-known figures in their day. Old-fashioned food names like "shoepeg corn" or "telephone peas" are explained. An extensive index as well as the locations and working dates of lithographers and food companies are provided.

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Editorial Reviews

Joe Gustaitis
[Ralph and Terry Kovel's] book is an effective introduction for anyone tempted to enter the field... the book is simply gorgeous, with brilliant colors and detailed drawing. That alone will inspire many readers to further explore this engaging and edifying subject.
American History Magazine

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780609601686
Publisher:
Crown Publishing Group
Publication date:
10/27/1998
Pages:
214
Product dimensions:
8.45(w) x 10.31(h) x 0.85(d)

Meet the Author

Ralph and Terry Kovel are the best-known writers on antiques and collectibles in America. They have written more than 75 books, including the annual Kovels' Antiques & Collectibles Price List. Their national newsletter, Kovels on Antiques and Collectibles, has over 150,000 subscribers.  The Kovels also write columns for House Beautiful and 150 newspapers, publish articles, and appear on television and radio talk shows.

Brief Biography

Hometown:
Shaker Heights, Ohio
Place of Birth:
Ralph Kovel: Milwaukee, Wisconsin; Terry Kovel: Cleveland, Ohio
Education:
Ralph Kovel: Ohio State University; Terry Kovel: Wellesley College

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