Recently I purchased on the cheap a couple of large (18.5 in.L. by 12.0 in.W.) storage boxes of English origin. They smell very strongly of "camphor" which I find delightfully more pleasant than naphthalene. Originally, a private beetle collection was once housed within them (as various Cerambycidae genera names) are listed on an identifying tag on each ones side. Apparently, the beetles within were vacated through a sale or purchase and the boxes were than bought and utilized by the well known Lepidopterist Mr.Tennent who made extensive collections in Morocco and regions close by in the 1990's. For a period of some 3-4 years my dealer owned this collection which was in at least 20 such boxes and I gleefully purchased a fair number of specimens from it during that time. Eventually, he found a buyer for it and it went away along with the majority of the boxes. However, he did keep 5 of the empty boxes for himself which is why I have 2 of them. Anyway, are boxes of this kind still sold in Britain or Europe ? Can anyone tell me anything more about camphor or its use in insect store boxes ? Just idle curiosity .
Good storage boxes are still made in the UK. Watkins and Doncaster have a good selection of sizes. You can tell early British store boxes by their rounded edges. Camphor was used by a few collectors but its not very popular now. I have no idea if it worked, but a cabinet I recently viewed had used this as deterrent, I not sure about the pests but when I opened a drawer, gosh the smell was over powering. I guess the collector you refer to is John Tennent of the BMNH.
My boxes do indeed have rounded edges and their height is enough to allow pinning on both top and bottom surfaces. Don't know what the substrate is as it is a paper covered surface but, it still holds fast anything you pin in it. And, yes the boxes once housed collections made by John Tennent during the early 1990's in Morocco. The material was absolutely fantastic through and through as it was all fresh pinned right away and had excellent data. I got as much of it as I could before my financials ran out and it was then finally sold off to another party.