July 13, 2006
SCHOOL SUPPLY BOX
School supply boxes seem to be a forgotten source of nostalgia. I've rarely seen them for sale on the "secondary market," and yet practically every kid I knew got a new one each year. I imagine that's just the problem, by the end of the school year there wasn't much left of those little cardboard containers. Just as it was with lunchboxes, the art on school boxes inevitably got embedded in my psyche due to the frequent daily use. I remember designs like jungle safari, United States map, and my friend's vintage astronaut box. Oddly enough, I don't remember any licensed characters on these things. (Well, maybe a foggy memory of Snoopy.)
Anyway, the one pictured above is mine from fourth or fifth grade. To be honest, I was never crazy about the art on it. I chose it on my post-Star Wars "anything outer space" principle. But it's served me well by holding a batch of my childhood memorabilia for all these years.
One of my personal lost treasures was a school supply box that sported sky-themed artwork. The clouds had faces and I remember one of them wore black rimmed glasses. (I tried to draw those guys all the time.) Each side pictured different cartoonish flying machines.. planes, birds, hot air balloons, etc.
When I was in college I noticed a box with this very design locked behind glass in an old cabinet in my Biology lab. It was stored among the jars of animal corpses and formaldehyde so who knows what it housed inside. I almost approached the professor about seeing the box until I realized how odd my request would have seemed. Boy, would I love to see that thing again.