History of the Cardboard Box

History of the Cardboard Box

 

Cardboard boxes are one of the most essential items used in packing during a house move – so how did the cardboard boxes we take for granted originate?

The beginnings of the cardboard box dates back to China 3000 to 4000 years ago – during the first and second century BC, the Chinese of the Han Dynasty would use sheets of treated mulberry tree bark, hemp, cloth, plant fibre mixed with water and made into a mash, this was stirred into a pulp and spread on to a frame – when it had formed a thin tissue it was pressed with heavy weights to make paper.  The paperboard as it was called was used to wrap and preserve foods.

In 1817 British industrialist – Sir Malcom Thornhill – was the first person to introduce commercial boxes from single cardboard sheets in Britain which bore no resemblance to the cardboard boxes of today.

In 1856 corrugated paper was patented in England by British inventors Edward Allen and Edward Healey – at the time, this was only used a  lining material for tall hats and its practical usage for shipping cartons did not come about until 15 years later on.

In 1871 entrepreneur Albert Jones of New York was granted the patent for single corrugated board as a shipping material and used it to wrap glass bottles for safe shipping.

The corrugated cardboard boxes as we know it today was invented in 1874 by Oliver Long who improved the design by adding liner sheets on both sides of the cardboard.  This new feature allowed for heavier loads into the boxes which could be stacked higher and safely.

The pre-cut cardboard box – flat pieces of cardboard which fold into boxes - was invented accidentally by Scottish born Robert Gair in 1890 – a Brooklyn printer who whilst making an order of seed bags using a metal ruler as usual to crease the bags, accidentally moved it and cut the card – he discovered by cutting and creasing in one operation, he was able to create a pre-fabricated cardboard box.  Compared to wooden pallets and crates, the new corrugated cardboard boxes were light and cheap to produce.

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Cardboard boxes have come a long way since its origins in China and its uses are unlimited – with the increase in online shopping, cardboard packaging is used in 90% of retail shipments and is a cost effective packaging solution.

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The environmental benefits of using cardboard boxes are far reaching – consumers today are becoming increasingly aware of the environmental impact their purchases have on the planet and are looking for eco-friendly solutions where possible.

Cardboard boxes are made of raw materials which are 100% biodegradable and completely safe to dispose of – around 70% of the world’s cardboard is recycled and as a result, most of the cardboard boxes today are manufactured from re-used materials.  The trees used in the process are grown in sustainable forests which are carefully managed so that when trees are felled they are replaced by new seedlings.

Cardboard packaging can be manufactured without the need to add any bleaches or dyes in the process; this keeps our water systems clean and free of pollutants.

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 Whether you are moving items into storage, or need boxes for shipping, we have a range of double walled boxes in various sizes which are strong and long lasting including wardrobe boxes to pack your clothes and archive boxes to store your paperwork – our range is available to view on www.midwalesstorage.co.uk and at our main office.

 

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