I watched an episode that was filmed in a Southern city. The dealer brought in a wooden box that was about 2 ½ feet wide, a foot high and a foot deep. It had a heavy top with a big, strong padlock and stood on legs about two feet high. The owner had used it for an end table, unaware of its original purpose.
The appraiser said it was a sugar box. The design was made in a time that segregation even included separating the white sugar from the brown. Inside, there were two sections — white sugar was kept on one side and brown sugar in the other. The owner of the box would open the padlock to remove just the amount needed for the daily cooking and relocked the box to prevent possible theft. Sugar was expensive — cakes, pies and other sweets were considered luxurious treats and reserved for special events.
In 1905, it was estimated that the average American ate five pounds of sugar a year. In 2005, that estimate has risen to 195 pounds a year! Times have changed and so has the shape of the average American.