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Boxes in North America

The vast and populous nations of the United States of America and Canada are home to a variety of resources, industries as well as agriculture. Here, many different types of boxes have been made for transporting goods from region to region. North America is a region where roots can be traced back to many different cultures. Living on the same land allowed people to explore local materials and develop unique everyday items that answered to the needs of the growing communities.

Boxes are manufactured using straightforward steps of cutting, bending and joining, which include processes of sewing, welding and clamping. Although simple to make, these rationally designed boxes are usually built to be tougher than it is required. The beauty of each product can be found in the material and its construction, not only in its appearance.

In its widest terms, anything used to hold and transport goods was the definition of “boxes”; while “simple” but “sturdy” are the keywords to describe this collection of boxes found in North America.


Canvas Basket

In factories, these canvas baskets function as reusable containers. Made of lightweight and durable canvas that is reinforced with a steel frame, these baskets were revolutionary at a time when most factories depended on wooden and metal boxes.

Situated on the coast of the Atlantic Ocean, this particular canvas basket manufacturer was founded in Boston in 1921. Using the same canvas used in shipbuilding, baskets were made for carrying coal in the coal mining industry. They are now made in many shapes and sizes to hold different items such as fish in the fishing industry, fabric at garment factories and linens in hotels. Processing steel and canvas is heavy labour. Steel is first bent and welded to create sturdy frames. They are then fitted with canvas sheets, which are sewn into place.



Polyethylene Tote Box

These kinds of boxes are often used for transportation from city to city in the U.S. by trucks and planes.

From cutting the patterns out of the plastic sheets to the assembling of the final product, every production stage is handled under the same roof. After the plastic sheets are cut, the remnants are crushed and melted for recycling back into the same plastic sheets. The light thin sheets are folded into shape and secured in place with thermal adhesives. This results in surprisingly sturdy boxes.



Aluminium Box

The metal lunchbox is the skilled miner’s loyal companion. Customised with stickers or etched to commemorate special events, the lunchboxes of the miners tell their life stories.

Sudbury in Ontario, Canada is said to be the site of a meteor crash many years ago that may have contributed to the area’s resources of nickel, titanium and other metals. The underground tunnels of the mines can sometimes be a harsh working environment, where the temperature could become close to 50 degrees Celsius. To ensure proper nourishment and also as a precaution as blockages do occur from falling rocks, miners usually bring large meals down with them. These lunchboxes hold sandwiches, fruits and other food as well as a flask that fits into the lid.



Maple Wood Basket

Strips of maple are woven in such a way that it comfortably fits the back as lightweight pack baskets, which makes walking through forests or over ice easier. This type of basket was originally crafted from ash.  

Maine shares its border with Canada, where maple is a common material. Here, maple baskets are used for many purposes: when harvesting vegetables, hunting in the forest, collecting mushrooms, nuts and berries as well as for holding tools needed for ice-fishing.

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