The 50 Most Iconic Designs of Everyday Objects

41. Chinese Food Container

Year Invented: Early 20th Century

Designer: Unknown

What we know now as the Chinese take out container was originally an oyster pail. When oysters were more prevalent (and cheaper), the container was used to carry them home from the store (at one point they were also used to hold honey). Once the price of oysters went up, demand decreased, and the containers weren't widely used. But after World War II, the demand for take out and take-home meals rose, and the oyster pail was soon adopted as the container of choice, especially for cuisines like Chinese and Thai.

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