A plaque remaining from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem.

Above, a 1934 plaque from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem. Discarded as trash in 2006.

Recent entries:
“How do you tell a proper joke about eating?"/"In jest.” (9/23)
“What did the cauliflower bank robber say to the broccoli getaway driver?"/"Floret.” (9/23)
Entry forthcoming—B.P. (9/23)
“I woke up this morning to a robber in my house searching for money. I joined him” (9/23)
“Why do bees have sticky hair?"/"Because they use honeycombs.” (9/23)
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Entry from June 15, 2011
“Four boxes govern the world” (ballot box, jury box, cartridge box, band box)

"Four boxes govern the world—the cartridge box, the jury box, the ballot box, and the band box” is a saying cited in print from at least March 1850. (A band box holds articles of clothing, such as a woman’s hat.) The much-reprinted 19th century saying is of unknown authorship.


27 March 1850, Newport (RI) Daily News, pg. 2, col. 4:
Four boxes govern the world—the cartridge box, the jury box, the ballot box, and the band box.

Google Books
May 1850, The Family Favorite and Temperance Journal, pg. 99:
Four boxes govern the world: — the cartridge box, the jury box, the ballot box, and the band box.

30 May 1850, St. Albans (VT) Messenger, pg. 2:
Four boxes are said to govern the world:—The cartridge-box, the ballot-box, the jury box, and the band-box. 

6 August 1851. Wisconsin Free Democrat, pg. 536:
The Four Boxes which govern this world: “The Ballot Box—the Jury Box—the Cartridge Box, and the Band Box!”

Google News Archive
14 January 1870, St. Joseph (MO) Daily Gazette, pg. 3, col. 2:
Four boxes govern the world; the cartridge box, the ballot box, the jury box, and the band box.

Google News Archive
16 March 1871, Weekly Northern Indianian (Warsaw, IN), pg. 1, col. 6:
Some wag has said that, four boxes rule the world, these four being the jury-box, the ballot-box, the cartridge-box, and the band-box.

Google Books
Treasury of Wisdom, Wit and Humor, Odd Comparisons and Proverbs
By Adam Wooléver
Philadelphia, PA: Claxton, Remsen & Haffelfinger
1878
Pg. 42:
The four boxes that rule the world— Cartridge-box, Ballot-box, Jury-box and Band box.

Posted by Barry Popik
New York CityGovernment/Law/Politics/Military • (0) Comments • Wednesday, June 15, 2011 • Permalink