Early 1900s STAR EGG CARRIER & TRAY – JOHN G. ELBS Inventor


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For sale is an early 1900s wooden STAR EGG CARRIER & TRAY manufactured by John G. Elbs, Rochester, NY. This complete antique wooden egg tote with carry handle and original inner cardboard tray insert is in excellent condition. This advertising egg carrier is marked with a 1906 patent date and dates to the 1910’s or early 1920’s.  This over engineered egg carrier is design to hold one dozen eggs. Egg crate measures about 8 1/4 inches long, by 6 1/2 inches wide, and by 2
3/4 inches deep. All four sides of the crate are inscribed with text.  The front panel of the wood carrier is inscribed “STAR EGG CARRIERS AND TRAYS MANUFACTURED ONLY BY JOHN G. ELBS ROCHESTER, NY – PAT. NO. 722,512 – CAN. NO. 985566 – ENG. NO. 89090 OF 1906”. An amazing collectible and tribute to American ingenuity.
This design was the first patented egg carrier in the United States.  The inventor, John G. Elbs, an entrepreneur from Rochester, New York launched the Star Egg Carrier & Tray Manufacturing Company. Elbs created his invention because of his financial losses as a grocery transported due to broken eggs due to travelling over pocked cobblestone streets in carriages with poor suspension. At the time, eggs were moved with the eggs loosely stacked in an open crate or basket.
In 1903, Elbs design relied on a wood box with a jute board insert and a second removable divider. The jute board insert was made from a fibrous and breathable wood pressed together from the bark of the jute tree, indigenous to the Indian subcontinent. The jute board not only lined the sides and bottom of the crate, but a second removable divider separated the carrier into twelve individual sections. The size of the compartments and a circular hole at the bottom of the case ensured each egg was secured snugly, preventing them from moving much in the same way modern egg cartons individually hold eggs. In conjunction with the hard-outer wooden shell, a removable tray and lid were kept in place by the metal bar.
To advertise his design Elbs and his business partner held a demonstration in Rochester. His egg carrier was placed in the street with a full dozen fragile eggs held within. To test the carriers a horse-drawn carriage was driven over the case. To the audience’s surprise when the egg carrier was opened all of the eggs were all shown to be uncracked.
Weight 5 lbs
Dimensions 12 × 11 × 10 in