Thursday, March 24, 2005

A Lifetime Supply of Cardboard

I just came back from lunch, and got today's topic. "Lunch" this week has consisted of going to Foxcroft, flattening cardboard for 30 minutes, and driving back to dump at the recycling plant next to my office. The picture above was taken Dec. '03 right before we bought the place, and shows a small portion of the west side of the unfinished upstairs which contains every cardboard box to ever come throgh the front door since 1928. The area filled with cardboard is 10 feet wide, 34 feet long, and the head of the knee wall pictured is 5 feet high.

We didn't do anything upstairs until Helen passed away and now still seem to have barely made a dent in the accumulation. I need to empty the cardboard section however, since that is where the new gable will go. A sane person would drive up under the north window and pitch, so that's NOT what I am doing.

I am looking at the boxes as they go, and have found some pretty cool stuff. As an aside, in the picture above the bottom box that says "chocolates" on it contained all the correspondence between Bess and the architect (30+ letters) the original house contract, letters to the realtor (15+ and he ended up building next door) catalogs: house plans, millwork, plumbing, carpets, fireplaces, wallpaper etc. AND the notebook Bess sent to the architect complete with her idea for the floorplan and all built ins, room colors, and more.

Some of the boxes I've hung onto include:
  • Swaner's Dairy butter box, Iowa City
  • Hand's Jeweler's, Iowa City
  • Piper's Candies, Iowa City
  • Russell Stover Campfire Girls candy box
  • Abraham's Chocolates, Moline, IL - the house plans box
  • Softasilk Flour Minneapolis, MN box- This had a label indicating what it held when Bess moved in!
  • Metal Kodak film cans
  • Various greeting card boxes with cool pictures
  • Marshall Field's Christmas box

What I'll do with any of this I have no idea...



hovercraft said...

Hey, save some of that cardboard, Bruce Bickford can use it!

Wow, what an endeavor. Keep up the blog, it's a great relief to see what projects I'm avoiding by being so far away!

merideth said...

hey mike! so excited to see your new blog. What a treasure you've found and what an added bonus that you got to know Helen. It's almost like keeping the house in the family.

Mike said...

Thanks to both of you. I was up in the cardboard again last night, and found a cardboard box for Dromedary Ginger Bread that was full of jewelry boxes, watch boxes, Chineses tea boxes and perfume boxes. (They were all empty of course) Sifting through this stuff is like being a archaeologist without ever having to get sun stroke.

merideth said...

hey mike, i dont know what your taste in art is like, but you could make a supercool collage thing out of that old cardboard...something modern made with vintage pieces featuring the old logos or the typefaces...could be great! (beth's idea)