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Discover the Cardboard Box and Keep Your Packages Together

Updated on March 25, 2014

The cardboard box.

You know what it is, but do you know anything about it's family, it's lineage, it's political leanings, it's favourite colour? Do you know why it says the thinks it does and where it sleeps at night? In other words, you think you know the cardboard box, or the box de Cardboard, as the French like to call it, (or not) but do you really know the cardboard box or are you just faking it?

The Cardboard Box Deconstructed,

As you may know, the cardboard box is made up of cardboard and is shaped in the form of a box. This is the first thing you should know about it, so why don't you just jot that down in your notebook and while you are doing that I'll go and see if I got any mail today down at the post office. I won't be long. If I'm not back by supper time, start without me. I may have got a letter that required me to leave immediately for Cancun to check out some real estate property I am bidding on. I plan to open a theme park there with a ski hill, ice skating and so on...all the things you would expect to find in Mexico.

Well I'm back and you still haven't written anything down in your notebook. How are you ever going to learn about cardboard boxes if you keep up that kind of attitude? Well never mind, let's move along.

Shapes and Corrugation

Cardboard boxes started life, way back in the mists of history, as simple, ordinary boxes.

By the way, have you ever seen the mists of history? They are so misty you can't see anything, so if you said 'yes' you were lying.

Now boxes came in all shapes and sizes, in the beginning--oblong,round,perpendicular, hex-a-diagonal, inside out and outside in and I'm told some even had hot and cold running water.

But it was the square shape box that won out in the end, as it didn't tip over when you put it down and people got tired of putting down a round box and then having to chase it all over town to catch it; especially the people in San Francisco, where I left my heart (in a box), but that's another story.

Now today, that is nowadays, or the present-era as I like to call it, the box is made of cardboard, but do you know what it was made of in ancient times? You do? Well share it with the rest of us then, don't be so selfish.

OK. Don't tell us.

Nowadays, or in the present-era (did I say that already?) the box is corrugated and it was this that really put the cardboard box on the best-seller list. So what is corrugated?

It is simply a way of taking two pieces of strong paper, and "corrugating" them together in such a way that the result is a box that will hold anything and do it without complaining.

Additionally most cardboard boxes come with an addendum ...or 'addon' if you prefer...which is a top made of four pieces of...can you guess?....cardboard!...yes you are star for you...and these are also called 'flaps' and can be folded in such a way that the box is made tight,sturdy, and waterproof too.

The diagram below is really self-explanatory, but if you need directions:

1. Fold all flaps in the direction of Mecca.

2. Don't fold Flap 'A' while Flap 'B' is watching. Wait until it is looking the other way.

3. Fold COUNTER-CLOCKWISE. If you can't find a counter-clock to fold counter-clockwise, look around, you might have one in your sock-drawer.

4. Mark your box Fragile, and THIS SIDE UP, depending on where you are. UP in China, for example is not the same as UP everywhere. Use a sextant if in doubt.

The cardboard box and how to fold it.
The cardboard box and how to fold it.

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