when was cardboard invented

When Was Cardboard Invented

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The History Of The Cardboard Invention

Nowadays we see cardboard everywhere. Whether that be packaging deliveries, containing our food or storing other products. But when exactly was cardboard invented and distributed to become so popular today? In this blog, we are going to explore cardboard history and a timeline of our beloved sturdy trusted box. 

Who Invented Cardboard?

Cardboard was in fact first invented in China in the 15th century. The UK then took inspiration, and the first ever paperboard box was invented by an english company called M.Treverton & Son in 1817. Following on from this, Scottish born Robert Gair invented the pre-cut cardboard box in 1879. His product could be stored and easily folded, perfect for shipment and general use. This invention was actually the result of an accident! Whilst working at Brooklyn Printer and Paper, he was printing an order of seed bags. A metal ruler used to crease the bags shifted in position and cut through them. Then, Gair discovered that by cutting and creasing at the same time he could create prefabricated paperboard boxes.

Corrugated Paper & Cardboard

Pleated paper was patented in England in 1856. This was used for liner in items such as tall hats. But, corrugated boxboard was not introduced until 1871 by Albert Jones of New York City. Here, the material was used as packaging for wrapping bottles and glass lanterns. In 1874, Oliver Long improved upon Jones’ design by inventing corrugated board with liner sheets on both sides. When demand increased for this material, the first machine producing large quantities of corrugated board was designed by G.Smyth. Corrugated cardboard boxes were not manufactured until 1895 by the US.

What Is Cardboard Made Of?

Cardboard is created from pulp taken from trees and plants. It is usually produced from the quick growing pine tree pulp. Thankfully, pulp can also be created by recycling wood chips and shavings.

How Is Cardboard Used In 2022?

Cardboard output was forecast to increase to more than 72 million tons by 2022. This would be an increase of more than 25 percent compared with cardboard production in 2015. Today, cardboard is used across the world for a huge variety of uses. These include creating cereal boxes, paper towels, shipping packaging and cartons.

Cardboard For Shipping

cardboard packaging

Cardboard Recycling Importance

With such a vast amount of cardboard being used today in both businesses and at home, it is incredibly important to dispose of materials correctly. Recycling cardboard will ensure we can repurpose rubbish into other products, and no waste is sent to landfill. This will also reduce raw materials becoming overused and reduce pollution for our planet. 


cardboard recycling infographic

Find Similar Blogs

If you enjoyed finding out about how and when cardboard was invented, we also looked further into the history of cardboard recycling. You can also find some interesting cardboard recycling facts here. 

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