Before they were called dog crates, they were called terrier boxes or kennel cages, as seen at top, and were frequently used to ship dogs by rail.
Somewhere around the turn of the century, a gentile version was made and sold as a "snuggery" for lap dogs -- the first "sherpa bag".
In the 1940s and 50's, production wooden boxes were produced for airline travel using a new material -- plywood.
Then in the 1970s, the airlines began selling fiberglass (not plastic) "Sky Kennels" produced by Doskocil (now called Petmate) which could only be bought directly from the airlines (they were not sold in stores or by mail). Sky kennels were produced through the 1980s until they were replaced by injection-molded plastic crates.
|The local Petco shelves.|
Today's injected-molded crates made by Sky Kennel or Vari Kennel are now lighter, sturdier, and more secure than previous models, and have become the backbone of not only pet travel, but night time pet containment.