Vintage Fruit Crate Labels, Lodi, CA, 1940s–1960s

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I finally became bored enough to scan some of my favorite vintage fruit crate labels from my hometown of Lodi, CA. For this posting, I focused specifically on grapes, which of course, includes lots of Zinfandel, as well as table grapes, such as the Flame Tokay.

These crate labels date […]

1960s High-Hand Fruit Crate Label, Loomis, CA

This fruit crate label for High-Hand dates from the 1960s (the zip code is an easy tell). After the zip code’s creation in 1963, the USDA soon required fruit crate labels to display this new piece of data. It’s fairly easy to see that with this particular label, this zip code was simply tacked […]

Menu from Dinah’s Shack, Palo Alto, 1960

Sadly, there was no actual Dinah, as far as I can tell.

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I won this old menu in an auction lot, and didn’t even realize it until I got home. I conducted a bit of research on Dinah’s while I was scanning these images, and I found […]

Ahwahnee Hotel Menus, Yosemite National Park, 1961

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Fifty years ago, the menus at Yosemite’s Ahwahnee Hotel featured a series of beautiful woodblock prints, taken from the 1932 book “Trees of Yosemite” by Della Taylor Hoss. I’m not sure how many menus were in this series, nor how long these menus were in use, although I would […]

1960s Nut Tree Menu, Vacaville, CA

1960s Nut Tree Menu, front cover.

I’m fascinated by the Nut Tree. Almost obsessed. This menu is probably 10 years before my time, but I collect anything from this former California landmark. Sadly, the Nut Tree has devolved into a lousy outlet mall, practically a cemetery in comparison to what it was […]

“The Justin Wilson Cook Book” by Justin Wilson, 1965

Being in my 30s — and not being a native of Louisiana — my first exposure to Justin Wilson was from a Ruffles commercial in the mid-1980s. For better or worse, that was also the first time that I’d ever heard the Cajun dialect, a quirky easygoing patois that now has many associations for me, […]

“Hot Dog” by Roy Lichtenstein, 1963-1964

I’ve always admired the famous “Hot Dog” enamel by Roy Lichtenstein, pictured just below. Even though the hot dog itself resembles a logo more than anything edible, I can appreciate the way that Lichtenstein makes the hot dog appear to glisten and shine. In that sense, the painting is very appealing from its “theoretical taste” […]

“Gourmet’s Basic French Cookbook” by Louis Diat, 1961

Truffled Capon.

Vintage food photography continues to fascinate me, especially the quaint-yet-complex aesthetics of 1960s-era French cookery. Within an historical context, the early 1960s proved to be a pivotal era for both French and American cuisine: In France, the death if Fernand Point in 1955 marked the passing of a legend, but at the […]