Hats off to a cardboard box

And now, a moment of respect for a truly elegant bit of intelligent design: The humble but ubiquitous cardboard boxes in which we buy chewing gum and candy – the ones that latch closed so they won’t spill their content when we leave them in our pockets, purses, or glove compartments. The trick is in the flap A, which latches into the depression B in the photo below.

Latching cardboard box

Folding a cardboard pattern to make a box is trivial, and we learned to do that as children; making it have a hinged lid is not too hard; but making the box have a self-latching arrangement, all from a single piece of cardboard, is a neat trick.

Latching cardboard box - flattened

No idea who invented this originally; can’t find a patent for it, though there are a number of US patents for folding and filling the boxes on a production line (e.g. United States Patent 6223507). Anyway – well done, unknown inventor!

Incidentally, that Wrigley’s Winterfresh chewing gum is one great way to stay awake when you’re drowsy… it is hot enough to wake the dead!

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