Folding carboard lunch box, titled "Brock House, Enterprise, Fla." on one side, and "Lunch" on the other. Robert Gair.
Folding carboard lunch box, titled "Brock House, Enterprise, Fla." on one side, and "Lunch" on the other

Folding carboard lunch box, titled "Brock House, Enterprise, Fla." on one side, and "Lunch" on the other

Brooklyn: Robert Gair, n.d., [ca. 1880s]. Approximately 7½" x 5" x 3" when built; includes the original red and white cloth handle which remains intact; the illustration of the Brock Hotel is a wood engraving taken from a photograph (the engraving signed "U.S. Photo Eng Co. Boston") and is within a fancy metal-cut border; the copyright slug reads "Robert Gair / Manufacturer / 161 & 163 Chambers, and 143 Reade Sta. / New York." The top of the box is a bit soiled and shows a slight dampstain; all else near fine. A rare example of what is ostensibly the first manufactured lunch box, and a rare artifact from a now forgotten Florida hotel. In 1856, steamboat captain Jacob Brock built a 100-room wooden hotel in Enterprise, Florida, know as The Brock House. Renovated in 1876, the Brock House was a popular tourist destination, and its visitors included such dignitaries as Presidents Ulysses S. Grant and Grover Cleveland, General William Henry Sherman, Jay Gould, and members of the Vanderbilt and Rockefeller families. Renamed the Epworth Inn in the early 1900s, it later became a Methodist retreat, but the building was eventually razed in 1937. The lunch box was produced by Robert Gair, a Scottish-born immigrant and the inventor of the folding carton. Gair was the force behind the Brooklyn waterfront development and the history of his company is well documented on line. Item #48157

Price: $1,500.00

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