from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. (noun) A small box used like a ditty-bag, a small bag used by sailors for needles, thread, and similar articles; also called a sailor's housewife.
On going into the cabin, he saw 'Frisco Kid sitting on the edge of the bunk, a sailor's ditty-box on his knees, and in his hand a carefully folded page from a magazine.
It's a ditty-box; rather a superior one, and a good bit bigger than usual; almost a chest; brass bound and a nice bit of poker-work on it; a girl's head.
Well, I think I've got a noospaper in my ditty-box down below as will tell you all about it, and then, p'r'aps, you'll feel as if you'd believe there wos sich things as pirates.
'Ditty-box' may be an alteration of the British 'commodity box.'