There is a Tall Fluted Feet (TFF) for sale on e-bay right now. The write-up says it is from 1961. Given this date doesn’t fit with my working chronology and there is nothing in the pictures confirming the age (like handwriting I have found before), I asked the seller if the date was documented. The seller responded, saying the date was confirmed because she got it as a gift when she graduated from high school in 1961. Pretty convincing evidence.
I have an almost identical TFF in my collection with a written date on it of 1937. The reported 1961 TFF on e-bay has the same double lined, eared logo as an undated one I have in my collection. However, the one I have with the 1937 date has a slightly different logo. On this one, the ears on either side of the logo are a little narrower.
To make matters worse, I have 5 relatively well documented instances of plain Tall (T) boxes dating from 1945 to 1957. Further, based on my research thus far, it seems reasonable the plain Tall boxes are the direct predecessor of the Small boxes. I have pretty well documented Short boxes began distribution between 1957 and 1963. I really doubt TFF boxes were made between plain Tall ones and plain Short ones between 1957 and 1963 although this 1961 date does fit.
The fluting on the corners of TFF boxes falls nicely into my hypothesis that the boxes became “simpler” over time in order to cut down on distribution time and costs. Therefore, it makes sense that the order would be TFF, T, S. However, the e-bay lady is a pretty credible source of information isn’t she?
How could all of my chronology documentation stay together with this news of a TFF from 1961? Did the retailer of the e-bay box (Geo C Vail & Sons in IN) get a TFF from Lane in 1945 (the first time I have T documented) and then wait to give it as a gift to the e-bay lady until 1961? 16 years in inventory – unlikely. Did Lane make TFF in 1937 then came back to it in 1961 for a special run? Who knows? Remember, I have really good documentation that Short boxes began in 1963. Two years or less of TFF from 1961 to 1963 – doubtful.
What if the chronology of the box styles and logo brands is not linear. Meaning, what if Lane made one style or used on brand for a while, then did something else, and then went back to a past method? I think this is unlikely but who knows, really?
A couple of thing before I’m done here.
My working hypothesis of chronology has been this:
- Tall Hasp Feet THF
- Tall Hasp Bun Foot (Feet) THBF
- Tall Fluted Feet TFF
- Tall T
- Short S – several variations – order largely unknown
I am now recognizing a “challenge” to my hypothesis about logos. Read on…
The oldest documented box I have has this logo:
Note the rounded side ears or handles or whatever the heck they are…. This is from a THBF. I have no documented date for a THF but the logo in all the boxes I own and have seen is the same as this one.
Here’s the challenge. TFF’s have this logo:
Note the difference in the sides? See how they are connected by the two little horizontal lines? Remember, this is from TFF, what I am theorizing is before Tall.
Most, but not all of the Tall boxes have this logo:
But some Tall boxes have the same logo as TFF – double lined and squarer. I am saying this is evidence that the logo changed during the “Tall Box Dynasty.” Doesn’t this logo directly above look more like the first one shown dating to 1935? Going on logos alone one might say that the double line logo from TFF should be after the one above because of the round look of it. On the other hand, doesn’t the round logo look more “modern” than the double line one?
One last thing…I have found way more Tall boxes with the last logo above than the double lined one. I am pretty sure the height of the Lane Girl Graduation Plan was from post WWII (1945) to the late 70’s but hyperactive in the 50’s and 60’s. With this along with just the fact they are newer, I would expect to find more Talls and Shorts than TFF, THF and THBF. And, this is the case.
I will keep this 1961 knowledge and hopefully at some point it all fits together but for now the chronology is foggier now than it was.
If you read all of this, I don’t believe you. To make me believe, please send me a response.
Until next time…