The Seaboard Lemon crate label tells the story of the dream of leisure in California. Giving the viewer a picturesque view of Oxnard, Ventura County, California. Which although probably not thought of as the latest and greatest destination in the west, it does show us an ideal view of what McClung describes as Arcadia, “a found natural paradise”. Vast wide-open spaces where the sun is shining bright, the water is calm and everyone seems as though they don’t have a care in the world. If you don’t want to lay on the sand soaking up the suns rays you can take your sailboat out for a leisurely ride. At first glance you might not even realize what this image is trying to sell you, and once you see the company’s name you still might not know because there is no orchard in sight in this Arcadia. Here there is no booming citrus business, are dirty engines rushing you here or there, you just simply move at your own desired pace. As author McClung puts it, we can either view the image as that of an idealized Eden or a “cynical exercise in marketing”. The image attempts to reconcile between the two giving us a glimpse of a perfect day at the beach in California with the idea that Lemons made it all possible.
McClung, William Alexander. Landscapes of Desire: Anglo Mythologies of Los Angeles. Berkeley: University of California Press, 2000. Print.
Strand Brand – Ventura County Lemons, Seaboard Lemon Association.Crate label, Western Lithograph Co., Los Angeles.Kemble Collections of Western Printing and Publishing, California Historical Society