I ran across some boxes today on Etsy.com. Without permission but with nothing to gain by doing so – other than directing attention to people that want to sell their boxes – I downloaded some images and am sharing them here now…
Some of these boxes took longer than others to decorate but you can’t say these crafty folks aren’t passionate about what they are doing. The one with the lace and jewels – holy cow! Lots and lots of work!
Now, you probably think I’m a purist and would be appalled by what has been done to these simple unsuspecting pieces of American history. I must admit – I am leaning that direction. HOWEVER, in a marketplace where there are potentially thousands of other boxes being sold, aren’t these box decorators just doing what Lane did in the later days of the miniature box program? For example…
These are just a couple of the dozens of examples where Lane added images onto the boxes to make them more marketable. Some of Lane’s efforts are pretty… ahh…not so good. In Lane’s attempt to appeal to young boys, they came up with this gem…
…sorry about the picture quality.
I know from interviews with Lane workers from the 1990’s, Lane was clearly attempting to do whatever they could to keep the miniature box department at the factory viable. I see a parallel between Lane’s attempt to make the boxes more marketable (remember in the waning years they were selling the boxes, not giving them away) and today’s Etsy crafters trying to differentiate their product from the hundreds of others for sale on-line.
There are MILLIONS of these boxes circulating around the United States. Having a few of them modified, decorated or even re-purposed isn’t the end of the world and some of them look pretty good.
Did I mention the website is up and going! www.lanecedarbox.com. Please, check it out!
I think this kind of musing will stay on this blog for now – given it is linked to the website.
That’s it for now.