The Kile family was one of many pioneering orchardist families of the Huon district in Tasmania, which includes areas such as Franklin, Huonville, Woodbridge and Cygnet. LH Kile’s “Robin brand” label originated prior to World War II, when many apple growers still picked, packed and graded their own fruit under thousands of individual brands. A fifth generation of the Kile family is still growing fruit in the area.
“426” would have been the importer’s shipping number. “Robin” was most likely selected as the brand name, because of the prevalence of Flame Robins in the area and because L H Kile had a keen interest in nature.
The River’s Pride orange label features the town of Barham, on the Murray River, which along with neighbouring Koondrook, still grows, packs and exports citrus. In fact, the whole Murray Valley is still a key citrus region, with citrus industries stretching from the border of Victoria and South Australia through Sunraysia, Mid Murray towns, such as Swan Hill and Barham, to the area surrounding Wangaratta.
The label features a paddle steamer on the mighty Murray River, which has been heavily idealised to include orange groves on the banks of the river.
WH Price Pty Ltd was a prominent Australian exporting firm of the era, using bright blue labels for apples, pears, grapes, citrus and more. Representatives of the firm were often quoted in newspapers in the 1930s, discussing key industry issues as well as evidence given to the Fruit Industry Commissioner on how the industry needed to improve.
Ohanez grapes are still grown in Australia today, and table grapes are still a major Australian horticultural industry. There are approximately 1,000 growers across Australia, with major growing regions including Sunraysia in Victoria and throughout southeast Queensland, and approximately 65% of table grapes are exported around the world. They are a medium to large, yellow-green grapes, available from late March to early May.
Paterson & Co. was one of the largest shippers of apples and pears in Western Australia during the labels era. The P&Co. brand was registered between 1934 and 1962. The west adopted particularly colourful labels, in part because stencilling didn’t show up well against the red grain of the native Jarrah and Karri hardwoods typically used for their apple cases. Western Australia were the second-largest apple growing region during the labels era, and their apples actually often commanded higher prices than Tasmania’s.
The label has “Rome B” stamped on it, a type of apple (Rome Beauty) which is no longer grown in Australia.
You can read more on the art of apple branding in our article with Christopher Cowles and David Walker.
This content was produced at the time of the stamp issue release date and will not be updated.