A Box of Wonders

A simple cardboard box – though technically the proper term would be corrugated fiberboard.

In 1871 Albert Jones patented single faced corrugated board. In 1874 G. Smyth invented the first machine for producing large quantities of corrugated board, and later that year Oliver long improved the invention to what we know as corrugated board (or card board) today.

The first cadboard box was invented by Robert Gair in 1890. It was an accident. He was a Brooklyn printer and paper-bag maker during the 1870s, and one day, while he was printing an order of seed bags, a metal ruler normally used to crease bags shifted in position and cut them. Gair discovered that by cutting and creasing bags in one operation he could make prefabricated paper boxes. Applying this idea to corrugated boxboard was a straightforward development when the material became available. By the start of the 20th century, corrugated boxes began replacing the custom-made wooden crates and boxes previously used for trade.

I can only imagine the reaction of the first child to ever get his hands on a carboard box. Surely it was a box of wonders. Why you could do anything in that box. Sail the high seas, soar through the skies across the oceans, go on an african safari, join the astronauts in outerspace, or visit the castles of old. I wonder if the men who brought about the cardboard box would be amazed at the delight millions of children have had through the years from their simple invention. Did they ever imagine what wonder a cardboard box would hold for a child?

We thank them! For years of fun and entertainment and family memories.

I give you (after we played a while in the giant refrigerator boxes first, of course!)….

Cardboard box
(By the way – I had to stand on top of the table in order to get pics of the kids down in the box)

(It’s pretty simple – we’ve already had some improvement ideas for the next time)

1st we built the tower. We took one refrigerator box, sawed off one side and used plastic zip ties to connect it to the end of the bunkbeds. Notice the convenient peephole located in the tower – they can keep an eye on the horizon for any unsavory characters.

Cardboard Castle 2

Then we built the castle wall.   Which is another refrigerator box, cut to size.  (Appliance stores are the best place in the world for your box needs.  We have been making REALLY good friends with a local one 😀 )

Cardboard Castle 1

All the kids are having an absolute blast with it.  I LOVE cardboard – I really do.


Filed under Dot, Em, Family, Jacob, James, Lizy

4 responses to “A Box of Wonders

  1. moniquel319

    Cool Idea. BE CAREFUL STANDING ON THE TABLE! Sorry the mom in me came out there for a minute but I had these vivid pictures in my head of your unfortunate demise.

  2. That looks like a lot of fun. I need to get some of our old moving boxes out and make something for the boys to play in.

  3. earwaxtasteslikecrayons

    Very cool. That’s one of the best things about moving–lots of cardboard to play with!


  4. Karen

    Ah, so cute. And informative. I never knew the origins of cardboard boxes before. Or knew I wanted to know, even. 😉

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