"The apples were ripe. Almanzo and Royal and father set ladders against the trees, and climbed into the leafy tops. They picked every perfect apple carefully, and laid it in the basket. Father drove the wagonful of baskets slowly to the house, and Almanzo helped carry the baskets down cellar and lay the apples carefully in the apple bins. They didn't bruise one apple, for a bruised apple will rot, and one rotten apple will spoil the whole bin." - Farmer Boy by Laura Ingalls Wilder
Maybe I'm the last person on earth to see one of these, but when I spotted it in the barn of one of the farms on the Wool Arts Tour, I was most impressed!
For winter storage, the apples were packed in there on pull-out trays. Each tray was made of slats and the sides were open to allow for air circulation, so the apples would stay as fresh as possible as long as possible.
I thought it was a terribly clever idea.