Cardboard boxes might not be an especially popular matter of contention, but they are an integral part of our daily lives and it would be indeed difficult to imagine a world without these trivial paperboards. However, most people know nothing about them – which is a pity, considering cardboard boxes’ history is quite fascinating.
Behold the alleged invention
In 1817 England, allegedly Sir Malcolm Thornhill has the innovative idea to make boxes out of single sheets of cardboard, there is conjecture around this fact as some researches are vary of the details. Regardless, it was then that the idea cardboard box came to life. It wasn’t corrugated at the time, but that didn’t stop it from being famous in the years since. Silk makers began transporting moths and eggs from Japan to Europe in cardboard boxes around 1840. Furthermore, the Kellogg’s Company also began using cardboard boxes as packaging for their cereals in the 1850s, this largely helped raise the popularity.
There was also corrugated paper
In 1856, Englishmen Edward C. Healy and Edward E. Allen invented corrugated paper, but it was only used as hat lining.
A fortunate accident
Robert Gair, a Brooklyn printer and paper bag maker, inadvertently discovered the precut box in 1890 when printing paper bags, when a metal ruler he was using to crease the bags unexpectedly moved, cutting the bags. Gair deciphered that in one operation he was able to make precut paperboard boxes by cutting and creasing. In 1895, he applied his idea to on-board and brought the world’s first on-board corrugated box. Gair’s sturdy corrugated cardboard boxes were warmly received around the world, and it wasn’t long before wooden crates and boxes were being replaced with cardboard boxes.
In 2004, US architect Peter Melbourne elevated the cardboard box to a whole new level when he designed and implemented a house entirely out of them – and yes, you can live in it!
These inventors thought out of box and presented the world with the most widely used product, that completely transformed not only the packaging industry but also several other arenas where corrugated cardboard is used to fulfil copious endeavors.