Long before Steve Allen popularized the phrase “is it bigger than a breadbox?” on T.V. game shows in the 1950s, breadboxes were a staple in American kitchens.
Used to keep bread and other baked goods fresh, breadboxes are typically big enough to fit one or two average size loaves of bread—up to about 16 inches wide by 8 to 9 inches high and deep. They were a more common household item before bread started being commercially made with food preservatives and wrapped in plastic. Many homes still have breadboxes to keep store-bought or homemade bread. Newer boxes are usually made of metal or plastic, while in the past they were often made of wood.
Vintage breadboxes are a fun and useful collectible.
Breadboxes are designed to:
- Keep their contents at room temperature, prolonging edible storage time.
- Have a lid loose enough to allow airflow which reduces condensation and helps to prevent the formation of mold.
- Have a lid tight enough to protect their contents from mice and all other pests, including ants and flies.