The History of Cardboard

The History of Cardboard - Leaderbox Corp.

From takeout to shoe boxes, that fort-sized box that held your refrigerator to the boxes that moved you across the country with a lifetime of belongings, the cardboard box is a staple in our lives. A constant that is often taken for granted. Without the simple cardboard box, that mountain of Amazon deliveries camped in front of your door or that specialty item that can only be purchased online from that one website may never have found its way safely to you. But, the cardboard box dates back way before the internet and the reign of Amazon. So, where did the cardboard box originate, and what was it used for back then? The following is a brief history of cardboard that may just leave you wanting to know more.

Where It All Began – To truly acknowledge the origin of cardboard, we must first pay homage to the origin of paper. Paper was invented in China, and during the Eastern Han Dynasty, the process of pulping was developed that is still the foundation for how cardboard is created today. As Papermaking spread, eventually, it found its way to Europe, and in the early 1800s, the first simple cardboard box emerged in England, resembling that of a cereal box today.

The Evolution of Carboard – In the mid-1800s, corrugated paper was being used to line men’s hats. This made them warmer and gave them more structure. Twenty years later, in the United States, corrugated cardboard was first being used to protect glassware as it was shipped between locations. In 1874, a man named G. Smyth invented the first machine for producing large amounts of corrugated cardboard. That same year, improving on the current design, a man named Oliver Long, developed what would most closely resemble the cardboard box of today. Long added a lining on both sides of the corrugated cardboard. A few slight changes since then and we have what one could argue is the foundation that makes much of our society go around.

The Cardboard Box – Also during the 1870s, an American known as Robert Gair, accidentally discovered that by creasing paper, or later corrugated cardboard paper, he could make cartons. By the 1900s, these cartons began replacing what were previously wooden crates and boxes.

Fast forward to today, and the rest is history. As you can imagine, with just about everyone using cardboard these days, there is a lot of cardboard being sent to trash and recycle. Leader Box Corporation saw an opportunity to reduce that waste and provide companies with an opportunity to save money and do something good for the environment. We do this by reselling used boxes at lower costs to companies. To learn more about what we offer, click here.