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Wrap Me an Apple: 1941

Wrap Me an Apple: 1941

September 1941. Yakima, Washington. "Work Projects Administration instructor demonstrates proper method of wrapping apple at apple packing school at FSA migratory labor camp." Acetate negative by Russell Lee for the Farm Security Administration. View full size.


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I can't put my hands on it right now, but somewhere I've still got my apple packing school diploma.

Why wrap apples?

To me, wrapped fruit is a weird Harry & David/Japan kind of thing. Maybe it was a make-work WPA practice?

[This is back when boxed fruit was generally wrapped in paper. Oranges, too. - Dave]

Tagging apples

This made me think of my local supermarket bins full of apples, each of which has a tiny PLU tag suitable for scanning. I have imagined what kind of labor force would be condemned to apply these--but it must be done by machines, mustn't it?

An ecological website tells me that these stickers are generally made of plastic or vinyl, that they are not edible (but "won't kill you", thanks), not biodegradable, and not suitable for composting. Ironically, "Non GMO" fruits sometimes carry stickers.

On the plus side, they are "a supply chain marvel."

Completely Different

"No, this is the Wooden Apples class. The Wooden Nickels class is down the hall on the left."

Hat tip Monty Python.

Don't take any wooden apples

I thought my eyes were deceiving me but I know a wooden apple when I see one (not that I ever have, before) so ... straight to the comments. My instincts having proved correct, I was left wondering -- why not just teach them how to wrap with real apples? Teach the packer, wrap a box of apples. Kill two birds and all that. Would it be too much handling of the fruit? I am left to muse until one of you brings me up to speed.

I remember Washington Red Apples

When I was in Grade School every year Washington State Apples (red and shiney and perfect looking and nicely packed in a box) would arrive, and each of us in our 200 student school would be given one. The teachers presented them one at a time to each student. That was quite a ceremony to me. Something so special! The teacher would say, "These are sent to us from Washington State."

Oh, *just* what I wanted!!

"Apple Packing School", huh? Wonder what the teacher got for presents.

Wooden apples

I don't know that I've seen wooden apples before. They make sense for training purposes, I suppose.

[Also for making hard cider. - Dave]

Time passes slowly ...

when you're wrapping apples. Still, Depression-era migrant laborers would be glad for the work.

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