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Factory bin



We have just a handful of these very handsome 1950s factory bins, and all recently rescued from a shut-down Victorian shoe factory.  Constructed from black vulcanised (toughened) fibreboard they are fitted with an internal aluminium frame and rivets for extra rigidity. The base has two wooden runners attached to its underside, so the bin can be slid without wear. They were designed to carry shoe parts to various sections of the factory floor and each has a pair of handles cut either end. They are a wonderful storage solution for the cluttered home that dreams of being minimal - and very handsome at that. They work well and look great as drawers when placed on the under shelf of a table - such as in a kitchen or utility room.  They are also the perfect holder for  laundry, kid's toys, art and DIY materials, loo rolls, you name it.


Vulcanised fibreboard (also known as vulcan fibre) is renowned for its tough yet lightweight properties and was invented in 1859 by Englishman Thomas Taylor. It's heyday was in the first part of the twentieth century when it was used for factory bins and trolleys, and for luggage - as it looked like leather yet was tougher, cheaper, and much lighter.  The material is formed of paper, cotton and wood pulp, 14 layers of which are specially bonded together - ‘vulcanised’ - and saturated in a special solution, which is then compressed to the desired thickness. The exact formula is one of its most closely guarded secrets. It is also used to make Globe-Trotter suitcases, and the same technique and material is being used to make their iconic suitcases today.

Country of origin: UK
Date: c.1950
Material: vulcanised cardboard, metal and ply

Length 53.5cm Width 33cm Height 22cm

Condition: having seen decades of factory use, these bins now bear the scars of their toil. Yet it's these scuff marks and scratches that make their patina; and although we've had them carefully cleaned and buffed, their true and robust character remains.