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The Background and Beginnings of the Humble Cardboard Box

The cardboard box really does play an important part of our lives! To the point where we might take its purpose for granted, even when we might not be doing it consciously. Whenever we go through the hassle of moving to a new house, send goods to another party or order something online – the cardboard box is always there to help us in our time of need.

With that in mind, does anybody know how this underestimated piece of equipment came to be an unsung hero? A critical part of society? Let’s dial the clock back all the way to the 1800s.

Who Receives the Credit?

Before the term ‘cardboard box’, the commercial paperboard box first came around the 1800s, more specifically in 1817 where, sometimes, the credit of the invention goes to English firm M. Treverton & Son. Interestingly, cardboard box packaging was made in Germany in exactly the same year. The Germans really know how to come up with a product that tends to take off, don’t they?

Pre-cut cardboard boxes, which is what we’ve become so familiar with, came as a result of an accident in 1890. Robert Gair, who was originally born in Scotland but working in Brooklyn, was a paper-bag maker in the 1870’s. His responsibility was to produce seed bags. However, rather than making an order of seed bags as instructed, he accidentally cut the bags rather than creasing them.

This was because the metal ruler inside the machine shifted out of position. Nonetheless, this led to an interesting discovery. Mr Gair realised that by having the metal ruler both cut and crease the materials in a swift motion, the machine could in fact produce prefabricated boxes.

If he could do this, then applying this motion to corrugated boxboard was extremely straightforward when the material became widely available by the time the turn of the 20th century.

Widely Celebrated

So, how do we take the cardboard box seriously? By giving it a national day, of course! That’s right, National Box Day is celebrated on June 19th every year! After all, we have so much to be thankful of the cardboard box for – just ask any parent or cat owner. To the untrained eye, the box is simply a way of transporting goods or storing old household items.

However, to parents of either children or cats, the cardboard box is a whole different dimension. Is it any wonder that in 2005, the cardboard box was included in the National Toy Hall of Fame? Madness! The slinky must be raging!

Children have managed to turn a mundane item such as the cardboard box into a completely new world that only they will truly appreciate, whilst cats…just love anything they can get their claws on, quite frankly.

Self Storage Oulton Broad

Crazy historic facts aside, the cardboard box does bless us with a purpose that simply cannot be underestimated. If, as mentioned above, you’re in the process of moving home, self storage is an extremely handy way of keeping track of all of your possessions. If you find there isn’t the space for your goods, again storing them securely could be the better option rather than getting rid of them completely. What would you use to store them, you ask? Cardboard boxes! We’ve officially come full circle! Finding the right solution to your storage issues can be potentially tricky and its important that you find the right place for you. Ideally, somewhere that can offer you any long-term plans for a financially viable price. Here at Waveney Storage, we may be able to offer you just what you’re looking for!