Some Boxy Facts for Boxing Day!

Image credit: 

Happy Boxing Day to those Flossers who celebrate it! On a more generic box-ing note, we've packaged a few boxy facts for your consideration:

Crate Expectations

What's the difference between a wooden box and a wooden crate? Not very much to the average consumer, but the U.S. Government has a different take on the situation. There are no less than five different official standards that dictate the specific style and construction of the container to allow it to be called a "crate." To summarize all the legal mumbo-jumbo, it appears that a "crate" is sturdier and more intricately built than your average "box." A container may be constructed of wood and look like a crate, but if it doesn't have a secure lid and is not able to be stacked and sustain X amount of weight atop it, it's a box, not a crate.

The First Jack-in-the-Box

Screen shot 2009-12-26 at 12.11.05 PM
We know you've long been wondering which came first: Jack in the Box the hamburger chain or jack-in-the-box the kid's toy. Well, you can stop scratching your head! The first jack-in-the-box toy was manufactured in the early 1500s by a German clock-maker. It consisted of a wooden box with a hinged metal lid and a hand crank on the side. The "jack" that popped out was based on the Punch character of the then-popular Punch and Judy shows. In fact, jack-in-the-box wasn't the toy's most common name. It originally went by such names as "Johnny Jump-Up" and the "Punch Box."

Box-fest at Tiffany's

Screen shot 2009-12-26 at 12.10.52 PM
Tiffany & Company introduced its distinctive blue boxes in 1837. In fact, they commissioned a company to develop a unique shade of blue strictly for use in their packaging, brochures, and shopping bags in order to give their products a "signature." The company became so protective of the color that a rule was established in 1906 "“ no one could buy an empty box; indeed, no official Tiffany box could leave the store without an item purchased from the store enclosed. Their investment paid off, as any woman lucky enough to receive pricey jewelry as a gift will immediately recognize the "little blue box" as a genuine Tiffany product.

The Origin of the Juice Box

The modern juice box evolved from an invention produced by Swedish entrepreneur Ruben Rausing. In 1963 Rausing was experimenting with more efficient methods to ship milk to retail outlets and he came up with the Tetra-Brik, an aseptic rectangular carton. In 1980 Ocean Spray became the first U.S. company to use Rausing's technology to sell individual servings of juice in a box.

Gateway Cow Boxes

Screen shot 2009-12-26 at 12.10.46 PMTed Waitt started a business in 1985 using his parents' farm house in Sioux City, Iowa, as his base of operations. His original business model was selling peripheral equipment to Texas Instrument computer users, but he soon learned that he could make more money by building and selling whole computers rather than components. With a $10,000 loan from his grandmother he founded Gateway, Inc. The packaging for all of Gateway's products featured a Holstein cow motif in tribute to the cattle ranch that gave him his start.

More from mental_floss...

December 26, 2009 - 7:47am
webby
submit to reddit