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Fruit From Washington - Exaggerated Fruit and Novelty Cards

FruitFromWashington.com Welcomes you to a Display of Exaggerated and Novelty Fruit Postcards

Collectible Americana Paper Stuff

Would you look at that? Send a friend a Big Fruit or Veggie postcard!Fruit From Washington has come across some great examples of exaggerated farm products and other humorous old postcards with an agricultural, fruit, vegetable or berry theme, as well as some classic beauties such as the big red apple below.

Big Red Apple - Edward Mitchell Postcard

FruitFromWashington
Postcard Page Index

Apple PromosBig Fruit Big VegetablesE. Curtis
Fruit & Vegie HolidaysRailroad Novelty

The Jolly Green Giant wasn't the first oversized icon used to sell produce. For decades, novelty illustrations and photographs of big stuff have been used to promote fruit and vegetable products, farm and orchard country where they are grown, as well as sentiments of home, family, heart and hearth. FruitFromWashington.com has gathered a few amusing examples of mammoth produce postcards and other novelty cards. We think they are delightful!

Click on the Big Pear and send a free digital iCard with a Giant Fruit or Veggie postcard picture!
Click on the Railroad Boxcar with the Big Pear for the set of Giant Fruit iCards!
Send friends and family an iCard now!
Courtesy of FruitFromWashington.com

The Apple Family is on the Way

All the Apples are coming to The Fourth National Apple Show and E-Nak-Ops Jubilee, at Spokane November 23 to 30. This card promoted Arcadia Orchards Company of Spokane, Washington in the early 1900's. Described as “The largest irrigated apple orchard in the world” where “we plant, cultivate and scientifically bring to bearing every tract sold.” The entire price of these orchard tracts is not given, but “$250.00 cash secures a 10 acre tract. $125 cash secures a 5 acre tract. Eight years time to pay balance.” Details were to be had at the National Apple Show and E-Nak-Ops Jubilee!

All the Apples are Coming to the Fourth National Apple Show

McIntosh Red, Miss Delicious, Mr. Newtown Pippin, Mr. and Mrs. Rome Beauty, Herr Spitzenberg, Grimes Golden, Mr. and Mrs. Wagener, Brother Jonathan, Mr. and Mrs. Wolf Rivers and The Crab Family are all on their way to Spokane. Bartlett Pear, Tommy Quince and a little girl Peach are all unhappy that they can't go too.

One of the beautifully decorated carloads at the National Apple Show!
(Click for back view)

In the shade of the young apple tree!

“In the Shade of the Young Apple Tree.” Picking Pippins for the Fourth National Apple Show - Spokane, Washington (November 23-30, 1911)

For more classic, 1911 E-Nak-Ops (that's Enakops, Spokane spelled backwards) Jubilee postcards, and other very rare exaggerated images, see the E. Morgan Williams Special Collection!

Edward H. Mitchell Big Fruit and Vegetable Postcards

We have many examples of Edward H. Mitchell Postcards dating to the early 1900's, including:

an E.H. Mitchell postcard of a carload of giant figs on a Southern Pacific Railroad car...


...or this 1909 E.H. Mitchell Postcard of a carload of almonds on the S.P.R.R.

...or this 1910 E.H. Mitchell Postcard showing how watermelons grow in California.

Edward H. Mitchell postcard of how watermelons grow in California.

See more Edward H. Mitchell cards included below.

Click for the message written on this postcard.“California watermelons grow to an enormous size and are especially luscious. They grow in all parts of the State and mature very early. Early melons may be had in the California market in May.” Curious what the sender wrote to father back in Georgia?

Of course, other artists than E.H. Mitchell produced postcards of giant fruit but we don't know their names.

A sample apple from Virginia
For instance, these later two examples, showing big apples from Shenandoah Valley, Virginia are by artists unknown to us.

Shenandoah Valley - Land of Luscious Apples, VA
Set in a blooming orchard, this postcard is titled, Shenandoah Valley, Land of Luscious Apples - circa 1950.

E. Curtis Fruit and Vegetable Head Series

“You are the (apple) of my eye,” “We would make a happy (pear),” and “Sweetheart I love you tho' you have a temper like (hot pepper)” are all illustrated by E. Curtis. These cards were printed in 1907 by Raphael Tuck and Sons Co. Ltd. N.Y.

You are the apple of my eye

We would make a happy pear

Sweetheart I love you tho' you have a temper like hot pepper

The message of this wistful apple head card by E. Curtis is designed to touch the heart. A handwritten message of love by a wife to her husband appears on the back in which she exclaims, "You are the apple of my eye and darling of my heart."

Curtis designed an entire series of fruit and vegetable head cards. Others in the series (not shown here) include a beet head in pajamas holding a candle with the message, "Dearest Valentine, you do (beet) all the others" and a watermelon head moaning, "Your unkindness makes me (melon) -choly"!

Fruit and Vegetable Holiday Postcards

Thanksgiving Day Postcard - May I have this dance?

Thanksgiving Day Postcard - May I have this dance? - Anonymous Illustrator

Mammoth Fruit, Vegetables & the Railroads

Pippin is an old style variety of apple.

Oh you Pippin

In slang, pippin is also something or someone that is very much admired. From the look of this 1904 historic novelty card, it appears to be a combination of both!

Oregon Pear and Peach Orchard Harvest

Oregon Pear and Peach Orchard Big Fruit postcard

Harvesting an Oregon Pear and Peach Orchard from around 1910, published by the Portland Post Card Company of Seattle and Portland. The postmark is Grants Pass, Oregon, July 16, 1910.

I reced. your letter and was glad to hear from you. Am glad you are all well. I shall leave here next week sometime. It think I shall go to Portland. It gets quite warm here sometimes. 101° in the shade last week. From J.E.G.

Collectors still grow Pippin apples in their heirloom orchards but it's not a variety that you will see widely grown again for commercial use. However, do not be too sad for our little Pippin. It shall not die out in complete obscurity. It has achieved some reknown as ithe parent of the popular Ginger Gold apple, which is the result of a lucky cross between the Golden Delicious and the saucy Pippin.

Wagon Hauling & Railroad Novelty Postcards
Expressing Washington Apples The giant red apples on a Northern Pacific railroad cart titled "Expressing Washington Apples," is one example of a typical exaggerated product postcard.
"Cabbage as Grown in Idaho" is the title of another version of a railroad express postcard published by the Portland Post Card Company around 1911. (Click for the message on the back)
A good wagon load, Florida pineapple
Some Florida big fruit and vegetable postcards feature horsedrawn wagon transport rather than railcar. “A good wagon load, Florida Pineapple,” is from the Beautiful Florida Series published by Leich in 1909.
“Slicing a watermelon, Florida”
The kind we raise in our State. Cauliflowers on the L.S.&M.S. “The kind we raise in our State” is a common phrase found on exaggeration postcards.This card shows Cauliflowers on the L.S.&M.S.
California watermelon on a Southern Pacific flatcar. This melon is passing through the Southern Pacific station yard on it's way to Georgia in 1913 when this card (upper left) was written. Pacific Novelty Company of San Francisco was the publisher.

Union Pacific carload of blackberries

The printed message of this postcard states, “California may be considered the home of the blackberry...they grow in great profusion in the wild state and have been perfected by growers until they excel those of any other country.”

Blackberries on a Union Pacific boxcar was also published by the Pacific Novelty Company of San Francisco, California. Mailed from San Jose to the town of Fitzgerald, Georgia in June 1915, the writer notes, “Lots of fruit here of a good many kinds. The greatest flowers I ever saw.”

Southern Pacific railroad car loaded with huge raspberries The red hue of the raspberries on this vintage Edward H. Mitchell novelty card is intense.
Carload of cabbages on the Southern Pacific A Carload of Cabbages on the Southern Pacific by Edward H. Mitchell, San Francisco.
Southern Pacific lemon in boxcar. Here is another classic Edward H. Mitchell giant fruit postcards from 1909-1910 of a lemon on a Southern Pacific Railroad in front of, presumably, a grove lemon trees.
A Carload - A Mammoth Pear Also from 1910, is this Edward H. Mitchell postcard of a mammoth pear on a Southern Pacific Railroad boxcar.

This big fruit Edward H. Mitchell postcard from 1910 is of Giant Peaches and a little girl on a Southern Pacific Flatcar.

Big oranges and small boy classic postcard

The small boy with two oranges offers a sense of scale.

A Carload of Mammoth Apples From (you fill in the blank). This Edward H. Mitchell Southern Pacific Railway postcard dates to the early 1900's.
A mammoth belleflower apple on a Southern Pacific boxcar

Southern Pacific Railroad, not to be outdone, put the charming, mammoth yellow Belleflower apple in a boxcar and another giant pair of Belleflowers on a flatcar.

Pair of exaggerated belleflower apples on a Southern Pacific flatcar The Southern Pacific Railroad cards were created by Edward H. Mitchell in San Francisco, California, in 1910.
The Kind We Raise Here Quality and Quantity The Kind We Raise Here - Quality and Quantity, is the title of this exaggerated apple postcard. The apple rides on a Lake Shore & Michigan Southern Railway (LS&MS) railroad flatcar. The LS&MS is described as the route of empire as America expanded westward, 1869 - 1914.
This black and white postcard is described as a Farm Scene near Drake. It shows three Northern Spy apples loaded on a flatbed with a railway worker beside the car.
Here is a horse drawn load of Montana spuds.
A Maine Potato A Maine Potato - Greetings from Animal Fair, Old Orchard Beach, Maine. This later reproduction of a traditional exaggerated postcard doesn't quite live up to the early standards. However, model train fans might like it!

Depression and War Era Patriotic Posters

Let Your Fruit Trees Save Sugar“Let Your Fruit Trees Save Sugar” is a World War II era poster. The U.S. (P)reserves of soldiering jars of jams and jellies are on march beneath the proud gaze of Mrs. Patriot's Fruit Tree while Mrs. Waster's Fruit Tree stares helplessly down at the rotting and wasted fruit at her feet. Click for more patriotic posters on farm labor and food preserving themes from the war years!

Artists working under the Federal Art Project also produced color posters to inform and instruct the populace about healthy eating habits! Click for more WPA and New Deal Era posters.

(Library of Congress, Prints & Photographs Division, WPA Poster Collection, LC-USZC2-5301)

Curious about how to identify the age of postcards in the attic or bought second-hand? You'll find good descriptions of the various types of postcards and their print characteristics at postcardshopping.com's "Postcard Age Identification" page.

Click for the plain view of an unused postcardHope you enjoyed a glimpse of the past from this Fruit From Washington collection. Come by any time for another look at these novelty cards and others which we expect to arrive any day now from points north, south, east and west.

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Page Update March 1, 2012

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