Test Your Packaging IQ: Packaging History - I

The history of packaging goes way back to the 18th century when the first commercial cardboard box was produced in England in 1817, more than 200 years after the Chinese invented cardboard.

The corrugated paper started appearing in the 1850s when about 1900 shipping cartons of faced corrugated paperboard began to replace self-made wooden crates and boxes used for trade.

With this, in this edition of Test Your Packaging IQ, the WhatPackaging? team digs out some fun and trivia about the history of packaging.

24 May 2019 | By WhatPackaging? Team

 Q.  When was the concept of tinning first introduced?
 A.  Tinplate boxes first began to be sold from ports in the Bristol Channel in 1725. Tobacconists in London began packaging snuff in metal-plated canisters from the 1760s onwards.

 Q.  Who started using packaging as a medium of branding?
 A.  The official trademarks were pioneered in 1866 by Smith Brothers for their cough drops marketed in large glass jars. This was a new idea—using the package to “brand” a product for the benefit of the consumer.

 Q.  Which is the oldest branding (packaging) till date? 
 A.  The oldest branding (packaging) for a brand is Tate and Lyle’s Golden Syrup. The same packaging has been maintained since 1885 with only slight technical changes during the war due to shortages of materials.

 Q.  Who invented the first bottling machine?
 A.  The first automatic rotary bottle making machine was invented by Owens, patented in 1889. 

 Q.  What is the oldest form of printmaking known till date?
 A.  Woodcut, a type of relief print, is the earliest printmaking technique, and the only one traditionally used in the Far East. It was probably first developed as a means of printing patterns on cloth, and by the fifth century was used in China for printing text and images on paper.

Data Source: A Brief History of Packaging by Kenneth R. Berger; Guinness Book of World Records; Yam KL’s Encyclopedia of Packaging Technology; W Soroka’s Illustrated Glossary of Packaging Terminology, A History of Packaging – The Ohio State University