A cardboard box is a container composed of the material cardboard and in the shape of a box. Cardboard boxes are often used for packaging and sending items through the postal services. Cardboard boxes have been found to be very useful for the storage of items which will fit inside them. Cardboard boxes are typically folded at the base and sealed with either glue or adhesive tape.
Cardboard boxes are used for purposes other than storage. They are popularly used as cheap construction materials, for the construction of a wide range of things from science experiments, through children's toys, to Halloween costumes.
Living in a cardboard box is stereotypically associated with homelessness. However, in 2005 Melbourne architect Peter Ryan designed a house composed largely of cardboard.
The first commercial cardboard box was produced in England in 1817. The first cardboard box manufactured in the United States was made in 1895. By 1900, wooden crates and boxes were being replaced by corrugated paper shipping cartons. The advent of flaked cereals increased the use of cardboard boxes. The first to use cardboard boxes as cereal cartons were the Kellogg brothers
Cardboard box manufacture in France
The Muse du Cartonnage et de l'Imprimerie (Museum of the Cardboard Box) in Valras, France traces the history of cardboard box making in the region. Cardboard boxes have been used there since 1840 for transporting the Bombyx mori moth and its eggs from Japan to Europe by silk manufacturers, and for more than a century the manufacture of cardboard boxes was a major industry in the area
The cardboard box in popular culture
The Pink Floyd song Run Like Hell contains a line threatening the protagonist of the song against trying to have sex with his girlfriend, which goes, "If we catch you in the backseat trying to pick her locks / we're gonna send you home to mother in a cardboard box! / You better run!" The suggestion of being sent anywhere in a cardboard box has implications that are both gruesome and undignified.
Calvin of the Calvin and Hobbes comic strip often used a cardboard box for imaginative purposes from a "transmogrifier" to a time machine.
The Austin Lounge Lizards perform a song Love in a Refrigerator Box which satirizes the "I was raised in a poor but loving family" narrative.
In the Metal Gear Solid video game series, the cardboard box is an item used by the main character in order to hide from enemies.