Background

In 1989, photographer and librarian David Walker and graphic design lecturer Christopher Cowles met collector Ray Harrison and began discussing the idea of a book about the industrial folk art of Australian apple case labels.Growing with the vigour of a well-pruned Granny Smith tree, the authors’ patient and painstaking research soon extended from Tasmania to the orchards of mainland Australia; into packing sheds, cool stores and the refrigerated holds of export apple ships; to the machine floors of print shops and the drawing boards of commercial artists; and across the world to the wharves, sales rooms and street markets of pre-European Union Britain.In 1996–97, their successful national travelling exhibition ‘Apples from Oz’ showcased a summary of the project, but it is this book that deWnitively tracks Australia’s apple-growing industry from its beginnings in the 19th century, through the boom years of the 1950s to its decline two decades later and then to the industry’s revival over recent years.Apple case labels sparked of the project and the labels remain at the heart of the work. These simple pieces of printed paper were only meant to have a brief, functional life, glued on the end of hand-made, wooden apple cases. But they are reminders of a time when Australian orchardists in Albany, Huonville or Doncaster could put their family’s stamp on a box of home-grown produce, and send it across the sea to Wll fruit bowls in Liverpool or Bremen.This richly illustrated volume incorporates The Complete Guide to Australian Apple Case Labels. The book describes an industry and its way of life, as well as acknowledging the importance of ephemera and celebrating the joys of collecting.

About the Authors
Christopher Cowles and David Walker are the authors of this book. David has worked as a professional photographer and librarian for over twenty years. His photography has been exhibited nationally and internationally and is held in public and private collections in Australia. Chris taught graphic design in the Tasmanian School of Art at Hobart for twenty-three years and is a freelance visual artist. He has been involved in many projects and activities as a graphic designer. The authors’ extensive research for this book has expanded Ray Harrison’s collection of apple labels by over forty per cent.
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About the Collector
The late Raymond Harrison began collecting apple case labels as a nine-year-old and this interest became his passion in his late thirties when a debilitating illness forced him to give up work. Ray corresponded, purchased and swapped with collectors in Australia, the United Kingdom, Canada, Europe and the United States of America to build his collection. It was placed on the National Library of Australia’s Australian Historical Records Register in 1988.

David Walker

 

 

 

 

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