Packing Eggs

My elderly neighbour asked me to buy 'Half a dozen eggs'. A common request ~ but it has caused me to write this note.

The word elderly is worth a comment. A generation or two ago it was quite usual for people to work in dozens ~ the word means twelves. There were several reasons for this ~ and egg counting is one. Younger people are less familiar with the word dozen ~ or half a dozen. Sic eggs in a small box is a normal purchase for some folk. In this metric age have you ever wondered why it is not five to a box?

I do not know the exact history but have a feeling that prior to the year 2000 eggs were only ever available in boxes of six, or twelve, or in trays of 36. Nowadays I see that supermarkets do sell them in tens or fifteens. Marketing policy is hard at work here. It probably costs as much to make a box for fifteen as it does to make a box of a dozen. The sale of an extra three eggs might provide a price advantage.

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Last updated 2021/01/30
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