Inventing the Cardboard Box | The Etsy Blog

September 6, 2013 – 11:34

Etsy.com handmade and vintage goods Chad Dickerson, Etsy CEO and all-around awesome dude, recently had a whim to research the building that currently houses the Etsy offices. Located on the shores of Brooklyn’s DUMBO (Down Under Manhattan Bridge Overpass) neighborhood, 55 Washington Street sits only a block from the East River, with a view of Manhattan that keeps tourists braving the subway with a folded map in one hand and a digital camera in the other. Chad’s curiosity led him to the Landmarks Preservation Commission where he uncovered the history behind Robert Gair, a Scottish-born emigrant who constructed and occupied many structures along the DUMBO waterfront. Not only was Gair a successful, self-made businessman, he had a surprising hand in revolutionizing the way we consume and receive our goods.

Born in Edinburgh, Scotland, Robert Gair’s family emigrated to Brooklyn in 1853, when Gair was only 14.chaps676 He spent his adolescence as a plumber’s apprentice, learning his father’s trade. He was quick to develop a sense of American pride; at age 21, he cast his first ballot for Abraham Lincoln. After serving in the Civil War, Gair returned to Brooklyn, acquired a business partner and began manufacturing paper bags. During the war, when cotton had become scarce, flour and sugar were often packaged in paper bags rather than cotton or burlap fabric bags. While bulk-sized flour bags returned to fabric casing after the war, paper bags became the preferred packaging for small portions of dry goods. Gair saw dollar signs. After returning home and opening his factory, he quickly became the leader of the fledgling paper good industry, enabling the world’s first packaged food products to turn up on the shelves of general stores.

Gair found success in his paper bag company, and it was over ten years until a careless mistake by one of his workers would lead to a revolutionary product. In 1879, a pressman in Gair’s factory accidentally cut clean through 20, 000 paper seed bags. Instead of exploding in anger, Gair looked at the ruined bags and realized that he could create a die that would cut and crease box board in one fell swoop. Prior to Gair’s happy accident, box making was a labor-intensive process that involved many hands. Most of the assembly work was completed by women working from their own homes. With every single cut and fold performed manually, cardboard boxes also came with a heavy price tag. Gair’s new invention resulted in the world’s first affordable cardboard box.

Source: www.etsy.com

I ship art all the time

In my earlier day i did juried shows like you speak of, but now i ship whole shows to other states and it's a major expense. it's like gambling really. if they don't sell, you have lost the shipping money. usually the gallery pays the return (once and a blue moon they will pay both ways if they love you like crazy).
i used to pack everything myself. i'd make the boxes from large double cardboard sheets i'd order at cost, bubble wrap it all and ship UPS insured. i thought THAT was expensive. after many years of that back breaking work, i started to use a professional art shipping company that picked up my work and did it all for me - and did custom crating and sent it freight

Do both you and the seller have the ability to

Properly disassemble/reassemble the bike? Shipping in cardboard is just fine, as long as you know how to pack the bike. Find the smallest box that bike will possibly fit in- shipping prices go up what feels like exponentially for small differences in box size.
If you or the seller can't assemble/disassemble, have the box shipped directly to and/or from a bike shop. Just call them up and ask for their prices on the service- it's a routine thing for any big shop. Actual shipping costs will be no different than they would be for you do ship it yourself.
Last suggestion/advice: look into AMTRAK for shipping

Container shipping: the secretive industry crucial to our existence  — Telegraph.co.uk
They are the reason behind your cheap T-shirt and reasonably priced television. But who looks beyond a television now and sees the ship that carried .. The biggest container ship can carry 15,000 boxes.

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