Bread boxes were created to keep assorted mice and rats etc. from eating the bread. Bread itself may be anywhere from 10,000 to 30,000 years old based on wikipedia, and I'll bet if they were making boxes (ones big as a bread box anyway) back then one reason was to put breads in it.
The origin of tambour doors is difficult to establish. They were commonly seen in Federal period furniture 1720's by such well known makers and designers like Hepplewhite and Seymour. That construction technique certainly pre-dated these uses. The roll top bread boxes were likely a later design, late 1800's to early 1900's, probably influenced by designs like roll top desks, Hossier cabinets, etc.
Wood bread boxes have been around for millennia. The French Panetiere is a well known and coveted form of the "bread box", typically from the early 1800's. No doubt these are a design evolution based on older, similar forms of bread storage.
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