Packaging. It’s everywhere you look and virtually every item you use come in it. It seems that only in the past century packaging has made its mark on society. But you’ll have to look back quite far to trace the history of packaging.
Back in prehistoric times, as our ancestors thinking started to evolve in the collection and storage of food for long, cold winters, they began to search for ways to preserve food. First they used the large leaves, then progressed to woven baskets made from sticks and branches and ultimately animal skins were used to store their food. From there, terracotta vessels were crafted to carry liquids.
These ancient forms of packaging were very primary and certainly not sanitary, but they showed us that keeping our food goods in storage containers made sense to our survival.
Eventually glass appeared in Asia about 5,000 BC and was a break-through destined to transform our capacity to transport goods. Egyptians were the first to use this material to create jars for storage and trading. By the time of the Middle Ages, wooden barrels became the common means of preserving and transporting goods. During Europe’s industrial revolution, packaging really took off. New and diverse ranges of products available to the masses brought greater choice and allowed trade to thrive. With this growth, the need for packaging grew as well.
Packaging innovation flourished. Canned food was first put to the test during the Crimean wars as well as the American Civil War, eventually becoming accessible to the general public. Soon after, the cardboard box appeared at the end of the 19th century, which to this day serves as the most common way of packaging goods.
The invention of transparent cellophane in 1920 marked the birth of plastic. Polyethylene, the first plastic used for packaging, was accidentally discovered in 1933.
Aluminum foil then made it possible to effectively seal medications and other sensitive products. In the 1940s, new packaging made it possible to mass produce frozen food. In 1952 the controversial aerosol was created. Tin cans signalled the eruption of the soft drinks market.
No matter what it is you need to package, finding the right company to work with is just as important as your product. Elliott Packaging has been creating packaging solutions that work for our clients. Contact us today to discuss your packaging needs and we’ll create a solution for you.