For kicks I just looked up the online price for an index, file card box. It’s been years since I bought one and I knew I was going to be surprised at the big price jump, as I always am when I go to purchase something that’s long ago dropped off my radar. But in this case I was more than surprised. I was shocked! A diminutive, steel gray metal box for 4″x6″ file cards is going for $27.49.

Not that I was actually going to purchase one. They’re too much a reminder of all the dreary, spirit crushing offices I’ve passed through in my various part time careers. I only checked the price to compare it with the price of the elegant file card box that I presently use, which cost me a big three dollars at Goodwill. On my calculator the difference between these two boxes saved me a tidy $23.49.

The box that now holds my file cards is one of the loveliest painted metal containers I’ve ever seen. Fortunate enough to spot it at Goodwill in a large carton about to be unloaded, I managed to scoop it up before another eagle-eyed woman closed in. England seems to be the expert maker of these stylish metal boxes. The ones I’ve loved best have all come from there. At the bottom, mine says, “Design adapted from a painted wooden box at Wimpole Hall, Cambridgeshire”. Pretty ritzy. Little did the residents of Wimpole Hall know in whatever century they acquired the splendid box, that one future day it would be the perfect size for file cards in a small, brownstone apartment in New York City.

Thanks Goodwill for opening another winning door – and for another super buy.

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