Before going into history first, have a look at what are cardboard cartons. They are the most extensively used packaging solutions around the world, and they have become a part of daily life. Yet the most disappointing thing is that they are barely appreciated by the consumers. Not only the consumers but also the manufacturing companies that are the largest buyers of custom cardboard boxes are unaware of its history. Although they use these boxes for the packaging of their products and trust them with the safety and security of the products, still they rarely know about their origin and evolution.
How old is the cardboard?
The history of inventing cardboard dates back to some 3000 years ago when the Chinese of the Han dynasty used bleached and treated tree barks to wrap things up. But they were not the perfectly shaped boxes as seen today. From China, this practice traveled to Europe, and the 17th century was the time when it first reached the continent.
The first cardboard package
The first box that can be termed as a cardboard manufactured box was invented in the 18th century in Germany, in the year 1817 to be exact. The first product that was made and packed in such a box was a game. Though it was manufactured with cardboard box material, yet, it took a long time to come to the perfect shape that can be seen today. Initially, some of the food manufacturers like Cornflakes helped to promote this packaging. Earlier, in the same year, in England, the paper stock box was also invented. The first person to get a patent for such packages mentioned that it is a type of packing that can ensure a safe and secure supply of the products as well as their transportation and storage.
In 1840, packaging was being used in France for the transportation of the eggs of the domestic silk moth by silk manufacturing companies, and this practice went on for over a century.
The evolution of the box
Neither the shape nor the quality of the first box was so perfect and refined until 1890. Thanks to Robert Gair, a Scottish-born Brooklyn-based printing company owner, who invented the modern way to manufacture the bag. Although it was an accident later, it turned out that this could change the whole industry. Robert accidentally set the creasing ruler at the wrong measurement, and instead of just creasing the paper for seed bags, the ruler cut the sheets into small pieces which resulted in wasting a whole lot of the sheets. But with this problem, he found out that if the same is applied to the cardboard sheet, instead of just marking a crease the cardboard can be creased and cut at the same step which can help to make the process quicker and the package finer.
Robert kept on working on the idea to refine it, and soon he accomplished a good number of producing around 750 sheets in an hour while his entire unit was full of the same machines. Initially, the packaging was being used for items of small size and light in weight such as cigarettes, tea bags, and toothbrushes but the year 1896 turned out to be a milestone in the history of Cardboard Boxes as a leading American biscuit manufacturing company ordered Roberts’s company to manufacture a considerable quantity of these boxes.
This multi-million dollar deal changed the fate of the industry, and soon, this packaging became an essential part of the manufacturing sector.
Before the invention of such casings, cartons made of wood were being used widely for packaging, transportation, and storing purposes but the problem with them was that they were much more expensive, less customizable, and hard to reproduce. Thanks to the adaptable nature of the cardboard stock these issues have been overcome and the manufacturing industry has a cost-effective, customizable, easily recycled, and reproducible packaging solution for consumers.
Advantages of the cardboard package
The most significant advantage of cardboard boxes is that they come with several customization options by which the manufacturer can select the most appropriate type of packaging for the item that is to be packed in them. Another advantage of this packaging is that it is eco-friendly and does not increase the carbon footprint caused by packaging solutions. It means that this packaging does not affect the food products packed in it, and it is perfectly safe for the packaging of edibles of all types. With the advancement of technology and evolution in packaging solutions, these boxes can also be embellished with the printing of different types.
Printing can make such casings prettier and more striking, and it helps to get the attention of the buyers. They can easily recognize and pick up their favorite products from the shelf without opening the package.