A Vintage Rajah Spice and Jar Collection
Do you ever stop and wonder why we choose to collect a particular kind of item?
For me, it became the thrill of the hunt! Years ago, probably 20 years to be exact, while browsing an antique shop I spied this wonderful dirty looking, old, tan paper labeled Pepper can. It read "Rajah Brand" "The Quaker Maid Company, Inc. New York, NY, Terre Haute, Ind".
Not sure why I became so attached to it but I knew I couldn't leave the shop without it! For years when we spent our weekends antiquing these spice tins would be at the top of my search. I usually managed to purchase 1 or 2 cans a trip but they were far and few between.
Years later when Ebay opened up I managed to find a few more and discovered they had jars of vinegar, vanilla, mayonnaise, Worcestershire Sauce and other products too! I've searched high and low for information on this company but very little has been found! For years I searched for old ads in magazines or posters to see how many different spices were offered by the company. I finally did find a few magazine ads on Ebay but they are in black and white and not very "pretty". I never did find a list of all the spices offered by the company back then.
I display them in my kitchen on a shelf my husband made just for my collection!
This tall Ground Black Pepper can is what started it all! Most do have paper labels but the orange can on top of Paprika is a painted tin. This is the only spice I ever found without a paper label. The orange Paprika are fairly common in searching today which probably is due to the fact they didn't have the paper labels which were lost over the years.
All the cans I have found are from the 1930's! As you can see the date was punched right into the paper label.
I do know the company had a name change to the Ann Page Company sometime in the late 30's as you can see from this picture. The label changed to Ann Page, Rajah with a blank oval. The information at the bottom reads "Packed for The Great Atlantic & Pacific Tea Co. New Your, NY Distributors" It is dated June 1937. This is the only one I ever found with Ann Page on it and looking very similar to the original label!
Some spices came in boxes and some with jars in boxes!
I wonder if they were the inventors of Worcestershire sauce? Love the glass stopper in it! Some of the vinegar jars have embossed designs which made the empty jars reusable for uses!
The back of this vinegar jar on the right is hard to see but it reads " A Century of Progress 1833-1933". It has a little log house on the left, a tepee on the right and a skyscraper in the middle.
I found a huge 12" Coconut tin too!
A vintage matchbook with an advertisement for Rajah Salad Dressing on one side and on the other side it has A&P Rajah Salad Dressing, PREFERRED to all others by A&P customers.
It's been years that I've added to the collection but now since creating this blog post I'm inclined to start researching more history and searching for more to add to the collection!
What unique things do you collect from the past? We would love to hear about them!