Everywhere you go these days someone is carrying a canvas or cloth bag. They are seen in grocery stores, at outdoor markets and the like. These are part of the “going green movement” intended to encourage customers to stop using plastic or paper bags. This is an effort to help out our environment. I had not given it a lot of thought whether this was a new practice or had been in place years back.
We traveled to Minnesota this fall, on our way to visit our daughter in North Dakota. Of course, as true antique-lovers, we stopped at every venue we could from flea markets to antique malls to yard sales. At one of these stops, we got a folding wooden crate. Actually a pretty cool idea. It was from Litchfield, Minnesota, Sam’s Super Market to be exact. There is also maker’s information stamped onto the crate. It reads “Hubbard’s Wire Sewed Folding Box The First and Original Hubbard’s Box Co. Menomonie, Wis. U.S.A.”
A few years back we set up at an antique flea market and our booth was next to a gent who offered strictly crates for sale. We were truly astounded by his pricing on them. We thought he was “smoking something” since they seemed to be so high. But reality hit home when we saw how many people came into his booth and bought two or three at a time! He would basically clean them up and if the paper labels were in rough shape, he would put a coating of varnish over them to make them look better. His biggest sellers had wild graphics or funny names. His banana boxes were so popular too! He got over $100 each for them.
The best thing about collecting crates or wooden advertising boxes is that they can do double-duty. We use them for stacking on our tables at shows and they give a nice depth and dimension to it as well as super displaying capabilities. They are also desirable for college students, who use these for storing books, clothing, computer pieces, etc. Crates can be inexpensive and often easy to find at barn sales, antique shops and flea markets. Once again, the recycle, reuse, and repurpose comes to mind.