Tin box. How do I love thee? Let me count the ways

A container chock-full of preserved nostalgia. Not a die-hard fanatic, but I casually collect them.

I remember when I was young, I found a rusted orange mooncake tin box of my folks. Inside, it has a 45 rpm record of Olivia Newton John’s I Honestly Love You; old black and white photos of my late grandfather, my dad — as a toddler dressed in military costume and hat — and my mom in her younger years; I also found some old coins and bills — “Mickey Mouse money” — during the Japanese occupation of WWII in Manila; and other old documents. Most of the items were given to my dad by his dad, and some are his personal collections. I completely forgot where is that tin box now. But it’s still very clear in my mind how I opened the lid and the first time I saw those items. A time capsule. A treasure trove. A gold mine of memories.


Assorted tin boxes

Sadly in this day and age, memorabilia are now kept up in the “cloud” and in virtual containers so-called social media, Facebook and SnapChat, where thousands, if not, billions are being uploaded and posted every day as we speak. The tin box purpose nowadays is just plain packaging — no more, no less. As soon as you got the items inside, you’ll dump it away. Gone are the days where tin boxes hold a special place in our rooms, particularly under our beds, because of their designs and craftsmanship.


G-Shock hexagon-shaped watch tin box

Luckily, there are still companies making tin boxes for consumer and lifestyle brands. Fossil is one of those who heavily uses tin boxes for their merchandises, from watches to sunglasses, wallets to money clips, etc. Lucky I for I have kept that Fossil tin boxes after all these years. The oldest dates back when I was in my high school days, I guess — a Fossil watch given by my aunt. Design wise, Fossil’s tin boxes are a mix of vintage from the 50s and 60s, some are current.


Fossil’s vintage-design watch tin box


Fossil’s vintage-design watch tin box


Fossil’s modern-art design watch tin box



Fossil’s watch tin box


Fossil’s watch tin box


Fossil’s assorted tin boxes

I have some tin boxes from local and the not-so-popular brands. Some I used for pencil holders and for my Speedball nibs. Some are for display purposes, like the Lucky Strike —  which was given to me by my writer-friend a few years ago. Like her, she has no use for it.


Tin box used for assorted Speedball nibs


Lucky Strike tin box


Lucky Strike tin box


Lucky Strike tin box

You see, these tin boxes were once part of our life. I basically used these tin boxes as my time capsule of a sort. And every time I open one, I hear a good 70s soul music playing. These tin boxes will outlive me soon, but the memories inside will always be alive.


About battlefield_man

Jocas A. See. Visual communication designer. And a casual tourist

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