Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Build a better box corner and change the world.

Some people find the obituaries morbid, but I often find out fascinating stuff there. Keith W. Tantlinger died last month at the age of 92. His invention of a box corner that led to containers that could be loaded into stacks on large ships is essential to the globalization of commerce, for good or for ill, often for both. This technological advancement means that shipping costs for ocean voyages covering thousands of miles add only pennies to the cost of goods from China or Australia across the Pacific, or from Europe to the eastern U.S. and those containers can then be put on trucks or trains and moved long distances on land at relatively low costs. Click on the link to read his New York Times obituary.

The credit for the 1958 picture of Mr. Tantlinger is from Pan-Atlantic/Maersk, his former employers.

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