Cardboard Shipping Boxes 101

Has anyone ever sat you down and asked you where cardboard shipping boxes come from? The question might have been embarrassing. It might have caught you off guard. Where things come from… it’s just so precise, you know? If you aren’t prepared the conversation could get really awkward. Well, it seems safe to say that if you are in the business of cardboard shipping boxes, you might want to know where they come from, and all of that good stuff. Allow me to give you a brief rundown.

Of course it was a Scotsman who invented cardboard. Isn’t that obvious? And this was in the early 1800s. Have you ever seen in the movies, people walking around with cakes in boxes, tied with twine? And people giving each other exquisite boxes of the most amazing chocolate you’ve ever seen? Well, that is cardboard. Obviously. It’s just paperboard cardboard, though.

For delicate type boxes. Cardboard shipping boxes are made out of corrugated cardboard. Corrugated cardboard is simply three pieces of paperboard making a sandwich, kind of like this: flat piece of paperboard, a piece of corrugated (rippled) cardboard glued between that and another flat piece. Voila! A cardboard sandwich! Cardboard really started taking off when cereal started coming around. I mean, doesn’t that just make sense? Like, of course. The most obvious box of them all is a cereal box!

Thanks to the Scotsman, and to cereal, and to cardboard shipping boxes in general, cardboard has kind of become a trend. Know what I mean? I mean, cardboard has really become kind of classy, which more or less blows my mind, but that appears to be the direction things are moving in. Just the other day I was going through my local department store and saw a massive display of cardboard shaped goods for sale.

For instance, a deer head made out of corrugated cardboard. Christmas decorations, I’m talking about the ones you hang right on your tree, for all the world to see, are obviously made out of cardboard! Apparently the whole point is to have as many edges showing to reveal the rippled center. I have to say that the idea is ingenious, and that the manufacturers are probably pretty pleased. I’m not sure if people realize they are paying for what is actually just cardboard, but I guess that is their prerogative. As for me, I’m going to stick with cardboard shipping boxes. For now. Let’s see what else they can come up with.

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