Orange Crush was invented in Chicago in 1906 and founded as Ward’s Orange Crush in 1916, the brainchild of a California chemist named Neil Ward and entrepreneur Clayton Howel, who had already tried to make a go of it in the orange-soda business with Howel’s Orange Julep.

Early Ward’s Orange Crush fountain dispensers are especially prized by soda collectors since they are shaped like oranges, while people who collect advertising clocks look for the Ward’s Orange Crush Clock made before 1920 by Seth Thomas. In addition to Orange Crush, the Ward name preceded Lemon Crush and Lime Crush on all sorts of advertising.

The earliest Ward’s Orange Crush bottles were clear, with diamond-shaped paper labels on their fronts. Clear bottles with horizontal embossed ridges, known among collectors as “krinklies,” followed. These bottles also had diamond labels, only they were embossed rather than applied. Krinkly bottles with the Ward’s name were produced until around 1920, when the name was dropped.

From about 1920 until the mid-1960s, clear krinkly bottles were produced by Orange Crush bottlers across the United States. In the 1920s, new flavors such as Grape and Chocolate Crush were also introduced. Then, from the end of World War II until the mid-1970s, Orange Crush was sold in a new amber-colored krinkly bottle, whose dark glass was advertised in an ACL (applied color label) on the bottle’s back as being able to “protect the fresh fruit flavor from the harmful effects of light.”

The diamond, draped, or Mae West bottles, as they are variously called, appeared in the 1950s and were produced until the late 1960s. The shape of these bottles, which resemble the profile of a full-figured woman such as Mae West, was used on embossed-tin and lithographed-cardboard signs. As with advertising for other soda companies such as Coca-Cola and Pepsi, the shapes of these bottles also lent themselves to advertising thermometers.

Naturally, pretty redheads were used on a lot of Orange Crush advertisements to help sell the ginger-hued beverage. Less intuitive is the use of a character named Crushy, whose orange-shaped head was usually printed in blue on signs, and who resembled either an ancient hieroglyphic or contemporary emoticon when printed in white on bottles. In some print ads, Crushy is riding a scooter, while on some signs and fountain dispensers from the 1940s, the hieroglyphic version of the mascot, whose arms form a circular halo around his head, is depicted squeezing the juice out of an orange.


Best of the Web (“Hall of Fame”)

Advertising Antiques

Advertising Antiques

This classy looking British site features hundreds of high resolution photos of antique porcelain pre-war (enamel) … [read review or visit site]

Ad Access

Ad Access

Duke University's library has pulled together an impressive collection of over 7,000 ads printed in U.S. and Canadi… [read review or visit site]

Plan 59

Plan 59

From the Nostlagia Factory in Virginia comes this celebration of 'mid-century automotive advertising illustrations'… [read review or visit site]

American Package Museum

American Package Museum

Ian House's gallery of early 20th Century American package designs. Browse the exhibits in slide show mode or view … [read review or visit site]

Found in Moms Basement

Found in Moms Basement

Paula Zargaj-Reynolds’ blog, an extensive collection of 20th century vintage advertising, is a visual feast. Scro… [read review or visit site]



Clubs & Associations

Other Great Reference Sites

Most watched eBay auctions    

Large Vintage C.1960 Orange Crush Soda Pop Bottle 54" Embossed Metal Sign~niceVintage 1940 Orange Crush Embossed Tin Metal Sign Antique AdvertisingVintage C.1940 Orange Crush Soda Pop 10" Metal Thermometer Sign W/crushyOrange Crush Bottle Cap Round Pam Advertising Thermometer Sign 1958 Rare!Original1927 Orange Crush Tin Embossed Sign Coke Pepsi Cola Royal Grape Golden Large Vintage 1930's Orange Crush Soda Pop Bottle 48" Embossed Metal SignNice C.1940 Orange Crush W/ Crushy Tin Litho Advertising Thermometer Tin SignOriginal1920's Orange Cocoa Crush Tin Embossed Sign Pepsi Coke Soda Drop Deere Feel Fresh Drink Orange Crush Soda Porcelain Advertising Sign With Crushy GuyRare C.1920 7oz. Orange Crush Bottle Green Claremont Works Inc N.h. Soda SignRare C.1920 6oz. Orange Crush Bottle Deep Olive Green Art Deco Soda SignVintage Orange Crush Soda Flange Sign Not Porcelain No Reserve!!Vintage 1940's Orange Crush Soda Pop Bottle 40" Embossed Metal SignNice C.1942 Orange Crush W/ Crushy Tin Lithograph Soda Advertising Tray Tin SignVintage Orange Crush Thermometer Sign #1110Nice Early C.1935 Orange Crush W/ Tin Lithograph Soda Advertising Tray Tin SignRare Early 1920s Ward's Orange Crush Cardboard Lithograph Soda Advertising SignVintage Orange Crush 7 Up Green Coca Cola Coke Soda Pop BottleRare Nos C1925 Lime Orange Crush Bottle Topper Lithograph Soda Advertising SignNice C.1946 Orange Crush W/ Crushy Tin Lithograph Soda Advertising Tray Tin SignRare Ward's Orange Crush Bottle By Coca Cola Bottling Co. Scranton Pa Soda SignEarly Orange Crush Soda Cast Metal Crosswalk Street Advertising Marker Crushy Vintage Orange Crush Thermometer In Great Shape!! 15-uOrange Crush Thermometer Vintage Orange Crush Wm Konetskie Mt Carmel Pa Clear Glass Soda Pop BottleU.s. Marshal Operation Orange Crush Police Challenge Coin Advertising Orange Crush Soda Collectible Glass Beer Stein Mug Cup Orange Crush Miniature --- Glass Bottle --- Metal Cap --- Full --- Excellent Orange Crush Money ClipOrange Crush Embossed Soda Bottle, Newport, Ri, Patened Date July 20 1920Walt Disney World Resort H20 Orange Crush Bath Soap Bar Mickey MouseOrange Crush Soda Fountain Drink Neon Clock Sign Wall NeonVintage Lot Of 2 Orange Crush Beverages Soda Pop Bottles, Pat. D. 1920 Nebraska(3) Soda Pencil Clips-orange Crush, 7up & Dad's Root Beer-shop, Compare & Save