California Orange

Souvenir Spoons

During the first part of the 20th century, fresh fruits were available only during the harvest season. Oranges were very highly prized. The only major growing area for these fruits was California, and they were shipped across the country to every major city. Of course the fragility of the fruit and the transportation costs made them a very expensive delicacy.

Because of this, Southern California became known as the sunshine state and the orange became the "Golden State's" largest export crop. Whenever anyone wished to advertise anything about California, the image of an orange was used. The railroads made extensive use of this form of advertising and lured tens of thousands of settlers and visitors to California.

Of course, times have changed. I remember when the northern part of the Los Angeles area was hundreds of square miles of extensive orange orchards. These orchards are all gone now, and have been replaced by tens of thousands of houses and modern suburbs. In fact, California is no longer a leader in the export of this crop having given up it's crown to Florida. But California is still the largest agricultural exporting state in the USA.

The Orange Goddess spoon is available in several formats.
This one has "Los Angeles" engraved in the bowl

A number of different types of "enameled" orange spoons are available

Engraved Oranges

I happen to admire hand engraved spoons better than most other varieties, and I have been able to acquire several of these depicting oranges.

While all of these pieces are similar in style, since each is hand engraved it bears the artistic quality of its creator. No two engraved spoons are exactly identical. Of course the engraver was given a style guide, but was able to add "personality" as he saw fit.

This is what these four spoons actually look like. #2 is also engraved on the handle while the others are standard designs that were customized by the bowl engraving

Orange--Fruit Spoon series--Watson Silversmiths

marked Long Beach, CaliforniaEng. "Palm Beach, Fla"

The Eating of the Orange is a very interesting article which can be read here

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