What was in this box?

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Posted by Dave Bull on June 08, 2002 at 01:01:05:

Got a question for all the print 'detectives' here. Hope somebody will find this 'elementary' ...

My daughter picked up a bunch of prints for her shop from a dealer's miscellaneous 'junk drawer' recently, and in the stack was this old (and very dirty) item:

This is not an 'art' type print, but a printed sheet to be glued onto a product box - you can see the four sections that would be the front, back, and two sides of the box. (It actually has 'gold' coloured metallic printing too.)

The lettering on one of the 'edges' seems to read:
'Insu 50 pon, teika 3 sen' (quantity 50, price 3 sen)

On the opposide edge is:
'Kumamoto shi, Hoso-e machi 5-chome; Seizojin Yasumitsu Yasujiro'

So we have the quantity, the price, and the maker's name and address.

My question is - what would the product have been? Going by the illustration on the front of the box, this must be somewhere around the time of the Russo-Japanese war, and as she seems to be a nurse, one could presume some kind of product with a 'medical' application. The Japanese counter 'pon' (hon) is used for long, thin items (pencils, etc. etc.) so that is a kind of hint ...

Any guesses?



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