Frequently Asked Questions

Newcomers always have questions about fruit crate labels. The most common ones are about their concerns over prices, availability and the fear of reproductions. People also want to know more about where to get information and books about labels and label collecting. So here are answers to many of our visitors most common questions:

All labels sold by Patco are absolutely guaranteed to be original, authentic labels, which (in most cases) were simply never used on the crates they were intended to decorate and identify. Literally millions of fresh, original labels were found unused in the basements and closets of packing houses across America, along the Pacific Coast, and around the world. These labels were printed in the tens of thousands per year for nearly every packing house. However, in the 1950s when the fruit and vegetable packing industries switched over to pre-printed cardboard boxes, labels became suddenly obsloete. There are variations in condition, depending on where the labels came from. But I absolutely guarantee they are all original, authentic labels -- NEVER reproductions. Here is a copy of our certification:
Certificate of Authenticity

GUARANTEED:We certify that this is an authentic, original produce-crate label, just like those used to identify countless millions of boxes (or cans) of fruits and vegetables shipped from the West Coast throughout the world during the past 125 years.

These labels were printed in the tens of thousands per year for nearly every packing house. Tens of thousands of such brands and labels have come and gone over the past century. These authentic labels sold West Coast fruits and vegetables to people back East as early as the 1870s. They mirrored the fads and art styles of their times, and they spread the Golden State legend of California to worldwide markets.

Many mint-fresh specimens have been (and are still being) found in old packing houses, farms, produce markets and lithograph plants, labels which (in most cases) were simply never used on the crates they were intended to decorate and identify. When preprinted cardboard boxes came into use in the mid-1950s, label lithography was all but abandoned, and so were the labels.

In the early 1970s, collectors began seeking out these specimens of the lithographer's art, most of them produced in San Francisco by craftsmen who brought their skills from Europe. There are hundreds of active collectors throughout the United States and many in all parts of the world. And despite neglect, many of these labels preserve their freshness.

Labels like these, reflecting the history and techniques of their time, have been displayed in myriad books and exhibitions around the world.

Thomas P. "Pat" Jacobsen -- Agrilitholigist, Proprietor
Post Office Box 791, Weimar, CA, 95736-0791, U.S.A.
Phone/Fax: 530.637.5923 (or)

On ocassion, I have been known to make a color laser copy of a label, for a family who has been looking for the "family label." For me to do that, I need some pretty strong convincing. If I have a "unique" label in the collection that is unavailable anywhere else, then I am happy to help the family out with a copy or two, doing so as a historian. The only fee for this is the cost of the copy and postage. Otherwise, I have nothing to do with reproductions! So, if it's not your family label, don't ask.]

There are a lot of people dealing labels out there, especially on Ebay. How do I know I can trust their labels as being original?
By dealing only with reputable dealers, of which there are many. If you have any questions about a label's authenticity or the person selling it, feel free to contact me. I have a list of all the veteran label dealers that I have known over the past twenty years, and I can help steer you in the right direction. That's why I am here. We dealers keep track of the hobby for it's own health and well being, and most of us have known each other for many years.

Is part of ""?
NO. is a stand alone business which I run solely. This site is not related to any other site on the Net, except by advertising cross-links. I take no responsibility for what happens at any other site on the Net. (Here is my disclaimer if you are interested):

" does not operate or control the information, products and/or services found on any external sites, nor, represent or endorse the reliability or accuracy of any information, products and/or services provided on, or through, any external sites, including without limitation, warranties of any kind, either express or implied, warranties of title or non-infringement or implied warranties of merchantability or fitness for a particular purpose. Users assume full responsibility and risk in the accessing or use of any external sites. is not responsible for the availability of these/any outside resources and/or their contents, so users should direct their concerns regarding any external link or site directly to that site's administrator or Web master. We also, suggest you run an anti-virus program one your computer when accessing any site on the Web, to avoid nefarious programs which might be sent your way. Please let us know if you encounter an invalid or offensive link connected to our site, or if a virus scan catches a virus attempting to access your computer through one of our links. Please also let us know if you run into expired links. Thank you!"


(update 9/06)