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Cardboard Box Past and PresentPosted On: Dec-22-2021  By: VANESSA THOMAS

Cardboard Box Past and Present

In the era’s of industrialization and information, the industry which progressed more than any other diligence is packaging industry, and the knight of this industry is a cardboard box. From breakfast cereal box to the night boxes, and from holding our all daily jumble to shipping or carrying only cardboard box acts as a lender of last resort. It is the most unacknowledged yet obligatory obsession to our daily living. Above all of this, the cardboard box is includes at the International Toy Hall of Fame in Rochester, New York. With all these facts or trivia, barely any contemplation has been placed into why and who invented this thing and how it was fabricated and conceived. It is not necessary to take deep immersion for cardboard history, but we can start it from exactly two centuries ago when this box totally changed the social lifestyle.

The chronicles of Cardboard Box

It gives the impression of cardboard box dates back to China when they first used it to wrap their food items in it centuries before its commercial production. But the first commercial cardboard box was produced by Sir Malcolm Thornill during 1817 in England. Sir Malcolm is also the first who invented a single sheet cardboard box which enhanced the commercial production very quickly. In 1840, the cardboard boxes were accepted and admired by silk manufacturers in France while transporting Bombyx mori moth eggs from Japan. French people also have a claim that they invented cardboard box and to make this statement looks more robust, they made a museum of cardboard boxes at Valreas in southeastern France.

Soon after its commercial production, Kellogg brothers John Harvey Kellogg and Will Keith Kellogg during 1850 were the first to use cardboard boxes for their cereal products and also to market their foodstuffs to the masses with the help of these boxes. In 1856, two British inventors Edward Allen and Edward Healey first patented a cardboard box which they used for tall hats worn by English gentlemen during 1850s. Edward Allen and Edward Healey had a business of selling tall hats in British because of they such kind of material which could act as a one-dimensional to keep the shape of the hat intact. In these days, the cardboard box may not look like an innovative object, but in 1879 it seemed like a future product which invented ahead of its time. At the same time, a factory accident in New York led to 20,000 paper bags being ruined due to a worker error when a paper bag maker or pressman incised or chopped through some 20,000 seed bags. Instead of provocative rant and rave, Robert Gair a paper bag and printer maker realized that he could use them to create folding box templates, the ready-made technique of box formation.

After a decade, Gair invented and patented the machine that created folded boxes and produced pre-cut cardboard boxes by using flat pieces that could be folded together, and it is still considered as a revolutionary invention for the packaging industry. With the growing popularity of cardboard boxes, the famous biscuit manufacturers Nabisco (formerly the national biscuit company) began using cardboard boxes for packaging and the distribution of their products.

Benevolence of 20th Century

The 20th century came with many new inventions that entirely replaced the developments of preceding years. Same is the case with shipping and transporting materials like wooden crates and boxes, being replaced by corrugated paper shipping cartons. And the importance is not yet come to an end, even in World War 2 from 1939 t0 1945 the corrugated boxes were used to protect the gas masks given to every citizen in the United Kingdom. And the love of Londoner’s with cardboard is not ended with the war. In 1983, they built homes for more than 200 homeless people with cardboard boxes who are living in those boxes became known as “Cardboard City.” Being inspired by cardboard city, an architect from Melbourne Australia Peter Ryan during 2005 designed a whole house composed largely of cardboard boxes. Here’s another interesting fact related to the production of cardboard and packaging boxes in the United Kingdom is that by the end of 2009, the United Kingdom alone produced 7 million tonnes of cardboard for packaging. However, this fact can also create uncertainty in the mind of masses about hazardous effects on the environment. But, the good thing is that 70% of the cardboard around the world is recycled and most of the cardboard boxes today are made from re-used material to prevent our atmosphere while fulfilling the needs of consumers.

To learn about the cardboard industry and its history; there are five places to visit which are ample to get brainwave for the conception of your next packaging.

1.       Cardboard and Printing Museum – Valreas in France

The cardboard and printing museum of France put us in the historical pictures of packaging industry with the advent of production and methods of cardboard packaging during the 19th century to present.

2.     Museum of brands, packaging, and advertising – London in UK

In this museum, you can see the progression of different brands and the packaging evolution since the start of 20th century.

3.     Ankkapurha Industrial Museum – Inkeroinen in Finland

In this museum, you can experience the development of packaging industry and the first machine of cardboard in Finland.

4.     German packaging museum – Heidelberg in Germany

In this museum, you can not only explore the current findings of cardboard & packaging but the overall history of 100 years of packaging in Germany. So you can see the packaging of your childhood also in German packaging Museum which is one of its kind experiences for all.

5.     The Museum of Papermaking - Duszniki Zdroj in Poland

This museum is the most famous monument in Europe because it is located in a paper mill which shows you the complete history of paper.




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