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Milk Crates

March 24, 2009

Being the classic university student that I am, I have a disproportionate love of milk crates.  They’re damn useful: sturdy, spatious, an excellent container, and moderately easily obtainable.

(And pretty, too!)

(And pretty, too!)

I say moderately ’cause we have to go prowling about alleys and the like to get ’em, but…  It’s worth it.

I did, however, learn an intriguing peice of trivia recently from Jethe.  Seems that a lot of people were stealing them in the 70’s because they were the perfect size for holding LPs.  So when Canada swapped over from Imperial to Metric, milk was to be sold in litres rather than gallons/pints. Milk companies of the time saw this as a great opportunity, and the design of both bottles and milk crates was tweaked not only for the new volume, but for the overall dimensions – knocking about half an inch off the crates and making them unsuitable for storing LPs.  While crate theft didn’t disappear, it decreased rapidly almost overnight.

NO.

NO.

Interestingly, pre-70’s milk crates are now almost collectors items, especially to music afficioados who prize not only the rareity of the crates, but the fact that they are, well, the perfect size for LPs (Vinyl of course being the only legitimate way to listen to music.)

Now a new trend in milk crate theft seems to be dawning: as fuel prices rise, the cost of producing the petrolium resin used to make them increases as well.  People have begun stealing the crates and selling them to recyclers for their scrap plastic value, who in turn sell the ground milk crate plastic to manufacturers for cheap.

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3 Comments leave one →
  1. March 26, 2009 12:59 pm

    Thanks for the history lesson! Now I know why my records fit into some milk crates but not in others!!

  2. Dallas Shipping Crates permalink
    April 1, 2011 12:31 pm

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