For sale is an antique SMITH BROTHERS COUGH DROPS CRATE that has been re-purposed as a storage cabinet, end table or night stand. Both long sides of the cabinet have crisp advertising graphics that read: “SB COUGH DROPS FROM SMITH BROTHERS POUGHKEEPSIE NY”. The overall dimensions of this large crate are 41 1/2 inches tall, 10 1/2 inches wide and 17 3/4 inches deep. The crate stands on silver metal caster wheels. This amazing crate will look great as part of your rustic or vintage decor. A truly one-of-a-kind advertising collectible.
In 1847, brothers William Smith (1830–1913) and Andrew Smith (1836–1895) emigrated with their family to Poughkeepsie, New York. Their father James opened an ice cream shop called “James Smith and Son.” James Smith bought a cough drop recipe from a journeyman peddler named Sly Hawkins and in 1852 made his first batch of “Smith Brothers Cough Drops”. William and Andrew took over the business after their father died in 1866. Originally the drops were sold from glass jars on countertops. To prevent drug stores from selling generic versions the company began packaging drops in branded boxes in 1872. To distinguish their drops from imitators, the bearded brothers created a logo featuring their portraits and stamped it on their boxes. This shipping crate is believed to date to the early 1900s.
The top portion of the crate functions as a drop lock box. The top of the crate has a slit for deposits. The box compartment is secured by a vintage brass post office mail box door. The mail box door locks and opens by dialing its combination. The interior of the drop box measures 7 inches tall, 9 inches wide and 15 inches deep.
The shelf compartment below the lock box provides the perfect size storage space to hold vinyl 33 RPM Records. This space measures 13 inches tall, 10 1/2 inches wide by 13 inches deep. Behind this space is a shallow depth shelf (4 1/2 inches depth by 10 1/2 wide) that is the perfect size to rest vintage Kraft Cheese Boxes (see photos).
The middle shelf compartment measures 7 inches tall, 9 1/2 inches wide and 14 inches deep.
The bottom shelf compartment holds a heavy cast iron counter weight to ensure the crate is bottom heavy. The counter weight is originally from an 1800s industrial paper counter and is embossed “THE CHALLENGE MACHINERY COMPANY CHICAGO”, the maker of the paper cutter. This weight and the board it rests on lifts right out of the cabinet. The bottom shelf compartment measures 7 inches tall, 9 1/2 inches wide and 17 inches deep.
The interior shelves are not original to the crate and are made from solid mahogany wood. The shelves are secured by screws and can be easily removed or re-positioned to redesign the interior compartments of the crate. As such, this crate can serve a variety of purposes for record, clothing, or kitchen storage. Or the crate makes a great way to
display vintage collectibles.