The warehousing and packaging industries are centuries old, and with every bit of new technology the industries evolve. There are new developments every year that make the process cheaper and more efficient, but some old inventions are still used today as staples in the industries. Today we’re going to go over a few inventions that revolutionized the industries, and are still being used to this day.
Cellophane is one of the most commonly used materials in packaging. It can be used to wrap boxes of virtually any size. Its malleability and light weight make it the perfect solution to secure large parcels together, or protect a shipment from the elements. Cellophane was invented by a Swiss chemist by the name of Jacques E. Brandenberger. Brandenberger was originally inspired to create a hydrophobic cloth, after seeing a bottle of wine spill at a restaurant and soil the tablecloth. He first attempted to create waterproof spray that could be applied to cloth, however, his initial solution didn’t work out as he imagined. After 10 years of working, Brandenberger eventually came up with a working solution – cellophane. Named after the words cellulose and diaphane (meaning transparent), Brandenberger’s invention would soon revolutionize the packaging world. Whitman’s Candy Company was the first to adopt the material in 1912, and although the rest of the packaging world was slow to adopt the use of cellophane, by 1930 cellophane was being used by most major packagers in the United States.
The earliest forms of pallets were developed in Ancient Egypt and Mesopotamia during the 1st millennium B.C. They are a warehousing and packaging necessity in our modern world, and they have been so for thousands of years. Although the pallet looks differently now than it did back in Ancient Egypt, its function remains largely unchanged. The modern pallet however, was patented by two men, George Raymond, Sr. and Bill House in 1939. Due to the increased use of lift trucks, the modern-day pallet provided a necessary solution that allowed for the easy transport of goods from one place to another.
- Cardboard Boxes
Scottish inventor Robert Gair invented the cardboard box in 1890 – a technology so versatile that its design has not changed much over the course of the century. Similar to Brandenberger, Gair also conceived his idea for the cardboard box due to an accident. Gair was a printer and paper bag maker living in Brooklyn, when one day a piece of his bag making machine malfunctioned. The component that was supposed to crease paper into a bag shape, ended up cutting the paper instead. Seeing this gave Gair the idea to both cut and crease paper, in order to shape it into other forms. This idea eventually led to the creation of the cardboard box that we use today. Gair’s early designs used paperboard, which was fine for small applications such as cereal boxes, but it lacked the sturdiness required for shipping and packaging large or heavy items. Eventually, corrugated board started being used for boxes, and in 1895, the first cardboard box was produced in the United States. By the early 1900s, bulky and expensive wooden boxes were quickly replaced with the far cheaper and lighter corrugated cardboard boxes.
The packaging industry is one that is constantly developing. However, some inventions were so beneficial that manufacturers continue to utilize them on a day-to-day basis even a century after their original inception. Build Industries has a longstanding reputation in the warehousing and packaging industries. For 50 years, Build Industries has been serving the San Fernando Valley and surrounding areas, providing custom packaging and warehousing solutions to a variety of companies. For reliable packaging and warehousing service, call Build Industries today! (818) 898-0020