Pallets. They’re all the same, right?
Developed in the early 1920’s to aid in the moving of large materials, the invention of the pallet is considered one of the most important developments in the global economy, so much more than the seemingly cobbled together series of planks found under more important stuff.
An article in a 1931 rail magazine emphasized the importance of the pallet by spelling out the advantage. According to the article, a boxcar loaded with 13,000 cases of unpalleted goods used to take three days.