Box made to store paper labels, made by Brother Isaac Youngs, Church Family, Mount Lebanon, NY
Youngs, Isaac Newton (1793-1865)
Pine box with dovetailed corners, a set-in bottom, a lid with end cleats, and leather hinges. Interior compartmented (36 compartments) containing printed numbers. Exterior box painted or washed red.
The inside of this red-stained, pine, dovetailed box has been divided into 36 compartments. Twenty of the compartments are labeled with letters from the alphabet and the remaining compartments have no labels at all. In addition to the paper labels with printed letters that are still in their appropriate compartments, a large quantity of larger paper labels printed with numerals ranging randomly from "1" to "78" have been scattered in various compartments. The underside of the lid of the box is inscribed, "December 10, 1833," and in a decorative flourish the initials, "I.n.y.," a distinctive signature used by Isaac Newton Youngs. In December 1833 Youngs wrote to Benjamin Seth Youngs, elder at South Union, KY, informing him that since they had enlarged their family dwelling, "the rooms are all numbered, but not with any showy sign or label--then we have large figures printed on paper about an inch in depth for which I made some types on purpos [sic] which we paste onto the furniture [,] chairs, brooms-- store things &c. &c. that belong to several apartments which helps much to keep things in their place." In addition to having made the type and printed these labels, Youngs' skill as a woodworker and his signature on the lid suggest that he also made the compartmented box.
To learn more, read this blog post: https://shakerml.wordpress.com/2017/04/05/the-rooms-are-all-numbered-but-not-with-any-showy-sign-or-label/