This section is from "The Horticulturist, And Journal Of Rural Art And Rural Taste", by P. Barry, A. J. Downing, J. Jay Smith, Peter B. Mead, F. W. Woodward, Henry T. Williams. Also available from Amazon: Horticulturist and Journal of Rural Art and Rural Taste.
Every season there are a great many complaints made by growers against dealers, of their losing so many baskets. In some instances it may be the fault of the dealers, but as a general thing, the loss takes place during their transportation homeward. We all know how roughly all empty packages are handled by these lines, therefore, we should do all we can to overcome the losses on the route. And I am convinced that most of this loss arises from the fact of the cases not having fastenings that can be relied upon. And if the owners of these cases neglect to protect the contents, they should not censure others for their loss. Many of these so-called fastenings are no security to the contents, whatever, when full, and are worse than nothing when empty, for they are simply an apology for protection, deceiving both for if there was none at all on the case the dealer would nail the lid to secure the contents. The hasp and staple is the one most in use, but they give but little protection to baskets and platforms unless the plug is nailed in, for they are easily knocked out in handling; and the new style of having a revolving wire for a fastening is about the worst ever introduced, for there is no dependence to be placed upon them, for they revolve at every handling of the case, leaving the lid free from control.
The lock introduced by the American Basket Company is the best I have met with; it has an extra slide to secure the lid while the cases are full, which is ample; when, if the dealer wishes to ship farther, it can be locked, and also locked on its return - thus securing both parties from loss.
As commission merchants, dealing in small fruits, guarantee the return of the package and contents to the line transporting them, they are necessarily compelled to examine them before returning them, it is less trouble to lock a case than it is to make and drive a plug, or even to nail the lids, and when locked will protect the contents of the case. I.