Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Back to Basics: The Bankers Box

Bankers Box by Fellowes

Bankers box - why in the world do we use that term for "any box made of heavy-duty corrugated cardboard that is roughly the height and width of a file folder and the length of a file cabinet drawer"?

Well, first of all, we shouldn't. Bankers Box is a registered trademark of Fellowes, the company now known to many of us for its shredders - although it makes many more products, including the boxes. Fellowes actually started life in 1917 as the Bankers Box Company! As the company explains:
Harry L. Fellowes bought a fledgling box business from an acquaintance, Walter Nickel, who was called up during World War I. Purchased for just $50, the company manufactured and sold a corrugated filing box designed for bank records. With a newly passed amendment instituting a federal income tax, records retention became a necessity.
Now Fellowes provides a wide range of Bankers Boxes - including the one shown above, made from 100% post consumer waste materials.

archival document box acid-free

If you need the acid-free archival-quality equivalent of a Bankers Box, you can look at the document storage boxes from Archival Suppliers. Update on Oct. 24, 2012: Archival Suppliers seems to have disappeared, but you can find boxes like this from University Products.

Hollinger archival document box

Hollinger Metal Edge also provides archival-quality document boxes.


Donna said...

Hi Jeri,

Just to say that "Bankers Box" must be an American thing. Here in the UK, that sort of box is simply called a document box!

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the history of one of my very favorite tools. I love bankers' boxes because they are affordable, easy to label, and uniform in size so easy to stack.

Jeri Dansky said...

Donna, thanks for the information! As fellow organizer Lissanne knows, I love finding out the differences in terminology among the various English-speaking countries.

Margaret at New Leaf News, you are very welcome! I share your fondness for Bankers Boxes - except when I was dealing with someone's quite tall stack, and I needed to get into the box at the bottom. Sometimes those boxes would work better if combined with some shelving!

chaotic kitten said...

niftesAh, I've always wondered what Americans meant when they talked about bankers boxes - and now I know! Thank you :)

chaotic kitten said...

Apologies for the random 'niftes' at the beginning of that comment - it was the word verification word and I typed it in the wrong place without noticing!!

Jeri Dansky said...

Glad to help, Chaotic Kitten!