Smoking chimneys, Aunt Jemima, streamlined trains, and Trojans have all decorated labels to help sell everything from soup to cigars. More than 300 striking labels feature these images and more--from bathing beauties and cherubic babies to Abraham Lincoln and Peter Pan.When Ralph and Terry Kovel started collecting labels, they learned that every label is an ad and a mystery. A label is designed to catch your eye, entice you to buy, tell you what the product is, why it's wonderful, and even if it's good for you. But if you learn to read clues on a label, it can tell you much more--who made the product, when it was made, and the consumer laws that governed its packaging, as well as the fashions, hairstyles, humor, prejudices, pleasures, and political ideals of the past.The Label Made Me Buy It shows you the clues to look for. Learn the history of brands and companies, trace the methods used by label lithographers, and discover the romance and ingenuity of label designers. You'll also find out what "4011" means on a banana sticker, why grocery boxes are seldom black, and why a grape label picturing a tiger had to explain that the crate did not hold tiger meat.The labels in this book range from salmon and tomato labels of the 1860s to frozen pie labels from the 1970s. The products include tobacco, citrus fruit, candy, firecrackers, fabrics, canned goods, and condoms. Many show mouthwatering images of the foods we love or emotional representations of the childhood we remember.Label collecting has become a hobby of interest not only to collectors, but also artists and historians. Tobacco, citrus fruit, and food labels, firecracker packages, and product stickers are eagerly bought, sold, and traded through organized clubs, auctions, shows, and the internet.This book will help historians understand why a label featured Chief Red Cloud, Joe Cannon, or Penrod--all well-known figures in their day. Old-fashioned food names like "shoepeg corn" or "telephone peas" are explained. An extensive index as well as the locations and working dates of lithographers and food companies are provided.