Although cardboard boxes hold significant importance in our lives, they always go unappreciated. Custom boxes are seen all around us. Whatever we purchase comes in custom cardboard boxes. Every product seems incomplete without enclosing it in proper packaging. No businessman can even think of making his brand successful by using custom-printed boxes. But they were not the same as we use them today. Custom packaging boxes evolved over time. Its history is hundreds of years old. The custom boxes we see today were formed after great thoughts and untiring efforts of people who worked on them.
A Start by Chinese Civilization:
The start of cardboard can be traced to three to four thousand years ago in China. During the 1st and 2nd century B.C, the Chinese Han Dynasty started using sheets of Mulberry tree bark to wrap the food items. They realized that the food could be preserved for a long by using it. This fact surprised the Chinese, and they are credited for their invention of paper during the Han Dynasty. Obviously, that paper was much different from the one we use today. It slowly progressed through the Silk Road and started trading among the Chinese and European empires.
An Accidental Invention:
It would be really fascinating to know that the cardboard we use today was created accidentally in the early 1800s. Robert Gair was a Scottish immigrant who ran a factory. One of his operators accidentally cut down the seed bags in Gair’s Brooklyn paper bag and printing company instead of creating them. This led to the creation of folding cardboard boxes. Gair thought that these paper bags should not be wasted. Rather, we should use them somehow. He created a folding template of a box out of these ruined bags. Gair realized that this method could improve the efficiency of the process and reduce the cost by cutting, printing and creasing the boxes from a piece of cardboard. Gair’s early market customers were the Kellogg Company, Great Atlantic and Pacific Tea Company, Lorillard Tobacco Company and Nabisco Biscuits. He started selling his creation to these companies to package their food items. This was the start of a new empire.
The 1800s – The Invention of Cardboard:
Thus we can say that Robert Gair created the first cardboard box or paperboard box in 1817 in England. English played with the invention of Chinese and achieved excellence in the packaging sector. These cardboard boxes started becoming common when Kellogg’s Company started packaging its cereal in them. The work continued for many years. Robert Gair created an efficient cardboard box in 1879 on a commercial level. In the 1890s, corrugated packaging was also invented. Flat pieces were manufactured in bulk and then folded to make a box. The die-cut and scored boxes can be stored flat for later use. Various refinements were made in the cardboard packaging, giving rise to the custom cardboard boxes we use today.
How Cardboard Box Evolved?
Once the cardboard packaging was created, it started to pack several products. Corrugated cardboard was used for shipping purposes. As the corrugated cardboard box was formed in the 1890s, its existence solved many issues regarding the shipping and handling items. Before the invention of cardboard, wooden crates were used to move things. They were heavy, expensive and difficult to make on a large scale. By the 1900s, most sectors replaced wooden crates by cardboard boxes. Then the English people thought about technological advancement. It took a period of three years to make the first commercial machine to produce a large quantity of corrugated board in less time. It was a huge invention which reduced the amount of labour. It’s such an invention which will always be appreciated.
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