One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1A box containing a colour or colours; specifically a portable box for holding an artist's paints, brushes, etc., a paint box.
2Manufacturing Technology. A box from which printing rollers in a machine pick up coloured ink or pigment. Now historical.
3A large box containing an arrangement of prisms and mirrors, devised by Clerk Maxwell for combining the colours of the spectrum in any required proportion. Now historical.
Mid 18th century; earliest use found in Arts Companion. From colour + box.
colour box/ˈkʌlə bɒks/
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