Tuesday, August 24, 2021

Crate label for Triton apples

This is a nifty old crate label for Triton Washington dehydrated apples, packed by the Valley Evaporating Co. of Yakima, Washington. It measures 10⅛ inches wide. There must be bundles of these still available, because they're for sale in various corners of the internet for cheap. So if you want one to decorate your dorm room, work-from-home office or she-shed this autumn, get 'em on eBay, Etsy and all the other standard places. Add some Triton to your life. And, no, it's not entirely clear what a Greek god of the sea wants with dehydrated apples.

According to a 2010 article in The Wenatchee World, Valley Evaporating Co. was established in 1927. The oldest mention I found of the company on Newspapers.com was in an advertisement in the January 31, 1943, edition of The (Spokane) Spokesman-Review. The advertisement states that "All-Out War Needs Okanogan County," referring to raw materials like lumber, minerals, and agricultural products. Valley Evaporating Co. of Oroville is listed as one of the sponsors of the advertisement.

The Hallauer family ran the company over the decades. An article in the July 20, 1966, edition of The (Spokane) Spokesman-Review states:
"State Sen. Wilbur G. Hallauer, D-Oroville, has announced he will not seek election to the two-year senatorial term for the new 2nd Legislative District. ... 'The recent death of my eldest brother, Harley, changes substantially my responsibilities within Valley Evaporating Co., our family owned fruit processing business,' Hallauer said."
Wilbur George "Web" Hallauer (1914-2013) lived to the age of 99 and was quite a character. The aforementioned Wenatchee World article states that he took a six-month trip around the world at age 22, around 1936: "He went first to Japan, across China and Russia on the Trans-Siberian Railway, and into Nazi Germany where he saw a Nazi rally. Traveling third class and enjoying every minute, he ran out of money in Stockholm and had to wire home for more funds."

It seems that "Web" had quite the life in business and politics in the 20th century. He fought against McCarthyism and stood up for free speech and civil rights. His oral history, told to Thomas J. Kerr, is available as a PDF here.

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