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]

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    

1936 Rare Orange Crush Antique Tin Litho Embossed Soda Sign Advertising Vintage Old And Original Porcelain Orange Crush Door Push Sign Orange Crush Porcelain Sign Crushy Soda Drink Pop Usa Vintage Drink Orange Crush *crushy* Old Porcelain Soda Pop SignVintage 1960s Orange Crush Cooler Quality Cronstroms Service Ice Chest Nminty1950's Orange Crush Metal Thermometer Sign Bottle Cap Very Rare 1926 Orange Crush Tin Metal Advertising Sign EmbossedRare 1921 Ward's Orange Crush Cola Soda Pop Tin Flange Sign Original Sign Used Orange Crush Porcelain Non Tin Metal Soda Bottle Door Push Pull Plate SignVintage Original Drink Orange Crush Mirror Sign 9 X 11 Feel Fresh Carbonated Come In Drink Orange Crush Porcelain Door Push Pull Sign General Store Vintage Orange Crush Thermometer SignEarly Orange Crush Fountain Syrup Soda Cola Glass Original Nos No Reserve Drink Orange Crush Door Push Pull Sign General Store W/ Crushy Soda PopYou'll Enjoy Orange Crush Porcelain Door Push Sign General Store Orange Crush Porcelain Door Push Sign General Store Soda Pop Naturally Better Orange Crush Flat Top Pop Can - Pre Zip1963Thirsty? Just Whistle Orange Soda Enamel Porcelain Bottle Cap Sign Vintage CrushVintage Orange Crush Porcelain Metal Sign Door Push Pull Country Store Soda PopVintage Orange Crush Bottle OpenerOrange Crush Vintage Bottle OpenerOrange Crush Vintage Bottle OpenerWard's Orange Crush Vintage Bottle Cap With CorkOrange Crush Vintage Bottle OpenerAntique Vintage Orange Crush Soda Calendar Top Sign 1910’s Marquette Bottling CoVintage Orange Crush Soda Pop 12 Ounce Can No Zip Evanston Il.Vintage Orange Crush Bottle Opener76 Vintage Soda Pop Caps Pepsi, Orange Crush, Coca Cola, Evangeline, EtcOrange Crush Vintage Bottle OpenerS&s Vintage Lime Rickey Orange Crush Bottle Opener Soda Drink Orange Crush Refreshing Delicious Bottle Sign 24"x18" Metal 4 HangOrange Crush Mexi-cola ? Toronto Ontario Corklined Bottle Cap RareOrange Crush Vintage Bottle OpenerOrange Crush Dry Vintage Bottle OpenerCrush Orange Flavored Soda Crushy Guy Nos Vintage Old Pop Cork Unused Bottle CapVintage Royal Crown / Rc Cola Sign Thermometer Sundrop Orange Crush Coke PepsiOrange Crush Vintage Bottle Cap With CorkOrange Crush Beverage Bottled Soda Sign Crushy Metal Sign 24"x18" Predrilled Vintage Lot Of Antique Bottles, Orange Crush, Califig, Estate Lot