History of Cardboard Boxes

history of the cardboard box

When Was the Cardboard Box Invented?

The cardboard box was invented all the way back in 1817 in England. The box was simple paperboard and was not corrugated, but it was a box (Kellogg Cereals helped popularize this box in the mid-1800s)! There have been many incarnations of the cardboard box along the way though, which we’ll highlight next in the “evolution of the cardboard box” section.

How Has the Cardboard Box Evolved?

Corrugated paper was patented in 1856, but used as a liner in hats for the beginning of its existence. It wasn’t until 1871 that the corrugated cardboard box came into existence as a means of shipping and handling materials. It only took three years for the first machine to produce large quantities of corrugated board to come into being, creating the corrugated cardboard box we all know and love today.

1890 brought about another huge innovation in cardboard boxes, as pre-cut single pieces of board that could be folded into boxes were invented. By 1895, corrugated cardboard boxes jumped shores and began being produced in America for the first time.

What Came Before the Cardboard Box?

Wooden crates were the predominant means for moving materials prior to the invention of the cardboard box. Those wooden crates were (and still are) pretty expensive and hard to replicate on a grand scale though.

How Are Cardboard Boxes Made

We could explain how cardboard boxes are made, but wouldn’t you rather watch them get made? The Science Channel is here to help us all with their fantastic “How It’s Made” series. This segment specifically shows how cardboard boxes are made!

Why Do We Need Cardboard Boxes?

Cardboard boxes remain one of the simplest ways to move things from one place to another. Whether it’s a case of juice boxes or you’re moving from one house to another, cardboard boxes help collect numerous amounts of things into one confined space for easy handling.

Interested in learning more about the history of material handling equipment? Check out some our previous posts!