Preserved Fruit

In Canned Goods, Documentary, Fly Creative, NZ Icons, Wattie's on June 14, 2012 at 10.46

Here are a variety of Wattie’s fruit label recreations I’ve been working on over the last few weeks:
First up, a Clingstone peaches label said to date from 1936, which was used by Fly Creative for their website when they did their successful 2006-2007 “NZ Icons” merchandise project in conjunction with some of new Zealand’s biggest Brands including Fresh Up, Chelsea, Fleming’s and Bluebird as well as Wattie’s. This comprised of teeshirts and tea towels in custom designed tins, as well as a set of postcards for all these companies. This would probably the earliest label I have seen from this brand, except I do not believe it is anywhere near that old. Any designs before 1948 at earliest from Wattie’s are yet to be seen, to date. As it stands this peach label shows up in marketing material issued in 1954, so in combination with the sophisticated level of design and printing it is almost certain to date from the early 1950s. I do not know where they pulled the specific date of 1936 from, but I do not believe it is correct.

The jam label comes from footage of the Wattie’s archive made by Auckland historian and documentary maker Peter Michel – who worked for them creating a documentary  to celebrate their 75th anniversary just a couple of years ago. He was kind enough to lend me some images to work with that he gathered during the research process; and as well as that he generously gave me a copy of the film. I used the background (to recreate that fruit illustration would usually take days of work) and remade the harder-edged graphics over it to clean it up and bring it back to its former glory. A gorgeous design. I’m guessing it dates from the late 1940s to early 1950s. I know for sure it was in production in 1954 or earlier.

The prune can label is one of the last ones that I am putting up from part of the alleged former merchandising manager’s collection which I most recently covered here in late April. That post tells the story as I know it of the collection that was on offer early last year on Trade Me, and my deduction on its origins. Thankfully, for a change this label was rather painless to recreate. Small mercies and all that. It’s from the same range that I can definitely verify were in use, and on the supermarket shelves in 1963-1964. I imagine they were around a bit longer than that, though. I have almost completed recreating the entire collection of 22 labels offered in the lot.

Hopefully I’ll be back on the weekend with another post to try and catch up on things here.

  1. Hoping you can help me … I live in a former Catholic girls boarding school and recently found a stash of old food tins – with a spoon – under the floorboards in one of the old dormitory bedrooms.
    Would love to try to date these artefacts – one of which bears a similar Watties label as shown above. Is there any chance I could send you photos of these items to get your opinion?

  2. Oh, wow! that sounds fascinating. Yes, I would be pleased to assist you in dating the items. I keep a large database of information on old brands and businesses so this should be no problem. Of course if there is something I have not seen before I will be quite excited! You can email images to me.
    Anything up to 6MB per email, or if to gmail you can send up to 25 MB per email.
    Look forward to it, cheers.

  3. Hi, amazing article, so much to read, and so much more info about Bernard Roundhill, just what I have been looking for. Great to see the picture of the slot car set I sent through on here too and how it fits in with the whole story. Just one thing, could amend it to read the “Clayton Blackwood” collection Reid being part of the online name used in the slot car forum where I have previously shared these images. Thanks and good job!

  4. Thanks Clayton, I’ve fixed it. I had a feeling it was wrong.

    • No problem. Actually sounded quite good the Clayton Reid collection! I just got myself a Teachatot set, lovely fresh box and all 26 picture tiles but missing a few letters I figure.

      • I think mine had extra letters and numbers. I had also owned it as a child. I think there was a question about whether he did any of the pieces and I can confirm that yes he did them all as well as the box. It’s amazing the more and more things I am so familiar with that I discover were by Roundhill as time goes on.

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