What do we have here? A very expensive "lemon" you say? You would be correct, but in point of fact, this is our very rare "Ward's Lemon Crush" countertop syrup dispenser with the original pump, in excellent condition. Made by the Orange Crush Co. circa 1920. It measures 13" high, 10" wide and 8" deep.
This fine example of a Lemon~Crush syrup dispenser has bright colors and only two tiny marks/chips on the lemon (shown in the photos). It has the original working pump with the correct ceramic top ball which has the Ward's brand name on it. No hazing/cracking ANYWHERE on the porcelain glaze - interior is perfect as well. In amazing shape for being on display for 90 years! (based on the patent grant date, it just had it's 90th birthday on March 28th, 2011). Speaking of the patent date, this is an early casting of the original series of Lemon dispensers, as it still has the "Patent Pending" on the neck of the top awaiting final approval of the patenet in March, 1921.
Included as part of the package of this fine porcelain "Lemon", are two framed original print ads of illustrations done by the famous Normal Rockwell for the Orange Crush Co in 1921. Both ads feature the Lemon-Crush dispenser in the artwork.
Titled "HOME RUN" - Original Norman Rockwell
illustrated Lemon-Crush ad from an
original Youth’s Companion magazine
June 2, 1921. Framed and included in sale.
9-7/8 x 13-inches (out of frame)
Titled "ONE TOUCH OF NATURE" - Original
Norman Rockwell illustrated
Orange & Lemon-Crush ad from Collier's
magazine June 25, 1921.
Framed and included in sale.
13-1/2" X 21-1/4" (when out of frame)
In 1916, Clayton J. Howell, president and founder of the Orange Crush Company, partnered with Neil C. Ward and incorporated the company. Ward perfected the process of blending ingredients to create the exclusive formula that yielded the zesty, all-natural orange flavor of Orange Crush. Howell was not new to the soft drink business, having earlier introduced Howell’s Orange Julep. Soft drinks of the time often carried the surname of the inventor along with the product name. Howell sold the rights to use his name in conjunction with his first brand; therefore, Ward was given the honors: Crush was first premiered as Ward's Orange Crush, and the second flavor, Ward's Lemon Crush.
Normal Rockwell & the Orange Crush Co.
The "Lemon" of Lemon Crush was made famous in several Normal Rockwell advertisement paintings in 1921. The Orange Crush Company wanted twelve advertisements featuring Norman Rockwell paintings. Crush International, as it is known today, was just a soda pop company in 1921. Its original name was The Orange Crush Company in 1916 when the business started. At the time of these advertisements, the company made three flavors of Crush: Orange, Lemon and Lime. The advertisements were published in a wide variety of magazines including Collier's,The Literary Digest, The Youth's Companion and The Christian Herald.
Rockwell's Last and Only Contract
The Contract with Crush was the only contract Rockwell ever accepted for advertising work. The contract called for twelve paintings at a compensation of $300 per ad. That seemed, and indeed was a lot of money at the time! After the first couple of paintings, he had to really stretch for additional ideas. He even tried reciting one of Crush's slogans, "The Delectable Refreshment," over and over for inspiration. More ideas for new paintings were still difficult.
Rockwell also felt hamstrung by one restriction placed upon his paintings by the company. That restriction: the product had to appear in the painting and the label had to be legible and readable.
Rockwell gives his thoughts on the matter in his autobiography, My Adventures as an Illustrator:
"By the time I got to the eleventh and twelfth picture I was dreamimg about bottles of Orange Crush Soda Pop - long lines of them - quart size, regular size, marching down on me witl all the labels distinctively readable. A stampede of bottles. I'd wake up in the middle of the night screaming, ORANGE CRUSH, ORANGE CRUSH!"
He was apparently approaching the limits of his creativity by the completion of the twelfth painting. Norman Rockwell never again accepted a contract for multiple paintings. He felt another contract would again hamper his creativity. There are reports that Rockwell only finished 4 or 5 of the 12 originally contracted paitings. In a recent book, the author state that Rockwell quite after the 4th painting, which, according to Rockwell's own autobiography, he stated he did all 12. The truth may be in the middle as only 5 of the 12 can be found as published examples.
Also included with this sale is a printed copy of the
Design Patent granted on March 29th, 1921 to
"N.C. Ward", Neil Callen Ward, Co-Founder
of The Orange Crush Company in 1916,
for the unique "Lemon" style design of this syrup