Why are they called bankers boxes?

Mystery or history?

If you’ve been looking for storage on the Euroffice website, you might have come across ‘bankers boxes’ – but how did they get their name?

From what I can tell, in October 1913 the US government introduces income tax.  It covers individuals and corporations.  In 1914 the Bureau of Internal Revenue creates a tax form for people to fill in and send back for checking.  Businesses have to keep written records for the tax man.

A Chicagoan called Walter Nickel sees an opportunity.  He starts making and selling ‘bankers boxes’ – corrugated filing boxes for all the tax records that people need to store.  Walter works next door to Harry L Fellowes, a tailor with an entrepreneurial spirit but little formal education.

In 1917 Walter gets called up for WWI.  Harry the tailor seizes the moment, buys all of his friend’s boxes for $50 and starts the Bankers Box Company.  (He and Walter would later rename their product to the patriotic-sounding Liberty Box.)

Harry’s business goes from strength to strength. In 1983 the company is renamed Fellowes Manufacturing.  In 1990 it releases the first personal shredder. In 2014, now world-famous for office products, Fellowes is still selling its bankers boxes.

And that’s how they got their name.

There are 5 comments for this article
  1. Euroffice Customer at 2:08 pm

    Sorry Inksmith mate, as you can imagine Bankers aren’t my favourite people at the mo, they caused all this financial chaos in the first place and now it seems they are still reaping some huge bonuses ???

  2. Euroffice Customer at 2:06 pm

    I was hoping they had been named after the banks of the world, as they start off sturdy and secure, but eventually collapse after a few decades…

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