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I have had this box for some time and a dealer wanted to buy it but I told him I have to know what it is and what it was used for so he suggested this fomat.  This beautiful hand cut dovetailed box is very well made.  It was all hand made, not done at a factory.  I don't see anything that leads me to believe it ever had a lid.  The large opening is a galvanized tin insert that show rust or wear from water being in it about half way up.  This galvanized insert can be removed.  Next to the large opening is a smaller opening that a mouse has chewed to get into the drawer below, which is missing the pull..  Beautiful handcut dovetails and handcut handle openings.  The corners all have wooden pegs thru them.  This was purchased at a farm auction a long time ago and it came with a large assortment of feed sacks.  I was told it could have been a "hucksters" box, he put items for sale inside and sold off the back of a wagon.  Also told it could have been a salesmans sample for a dry sink???  That is all I know, I have loaded several pictures, hoping someone might know more than I do...  Thanks!

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Replies to This Discussion

Hi ... Whatever it is , it is very obvious that it was used to " portion " out something . Possibly corn . It was used , most likely , @ a rural store . Hope this helps !!! Lane
I thought the tin insert was used to keep something cold and when the ice melted, the tin rusted??
I forgot to add the box is 23 1/2 inches by 11 1/2 inches..
Porch box for the milkman is an interesting idea.. must have been wealthy to have such an elborate milk box! would a milk box have needed a lid???? The drawer could have held money to pay the milkman?? good thought!
I put a picture of the box in the paper asking people to come here and help answer what it is, so hopefully someone will have some ideas!
Thanks, Connie! Let me know if I need to take any different pictures.. All I know is when some antique dealers saw this box, they wanted it!

I am almost sure it is a voting box. Does it have a drawer that pulls out or is there access to items that might be put in the "slot" on the side? If so, that is what it is. If you need more detail, let me know and I'll explain how and when it was used.

I am not sure what you mean by the "slot" on the side? There are handles on both ends to carry the box. Also, how does the galvanized tin portion of this box play into a voting box?? It does have a drawer that pulls out but the only opening "from above" is from a mouse hole....
Yep. Sounds like a voting box. Into the large opening are put marble like balls, black and white. They are quite a bit different in size (usually the white ones are 1/2 again as large as the black.). If someone has petitioned the organization to join, the petition is read and then the box is presented to each member. Each puts his/her hand into the large opening and selects a marble, white for "yes" and black for "no". Then the selected marlbe is dropped into the space where the mousehole leads to the seperate compartment or drawer. After everyone has voted, the box is taken to a specified place and the contents of the drawer revealed. One black marble means the petition is denied. Thus the term, "black balled". No one ever knows who dropped the black ball, denying the petitioner's membership. It can also be used when a question requires a secret ballot.
So are you saying the "mouse hole" was a small hole the size of a marble and the mouse just chewed it larger so he could get in there and sniff around?? And why would the larger opening be made if tin?? Sorry for all the questions but I think we are on to something!!
I no not have the answers to your questions. From the picture and the description, it looks like a voting box. The ones I have seen in the past were made entirely of wood, however, who knows what another manufacturer may have done. Or, I may be totally off base and it could be an entirely different object.
I used to belong to a fraternal organization that used just such a box, as did the related organizations.
And, who knows what a mouse will do. You can't trust those little buggers.
Connie, any response to the picture of the box in the paper??

Thanks, Kevin


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