History of Packaging

Packaging has begun with natural materials such as leaves. Serial production was later done with products such as weaved materials and pots. It is estimated that glass and wood packaging are being used for around 5000 years. In 1823 Englishman Peter Durand obtained the patent for the first metal packaging made from sheet metal "canister”. Double stitched three peace can begun to be used in 1900. Paper and cardboard have become important packaging materials in 1900s. With the invention of plastic, it started replacing paper as a packaging material.

General use of plastics in packaging applications has started after World War 2. Polyethylene was produced in abundance during the war years and became an easily found material in the market right after the war. In the beginning it replaced the wax paper used in bread packaging. The growth in plastic packaging has sped up since 1970s. With today's technology and conditions, these previous materials have been replaced by more suitable and economic materials such as glass, metal, plastic, paper and cardboard. During those years packaging was used only for transport and storage, but with these new materials it has also begun to advertise the product. So now packaging is part of marketing policy. This is because packaging creates the distinction between the same type of products sitting side by side on shelves.

Glass Packaging from Egypt to Present Day

Glass packaging first begun to be used in 1500 B.C in Egypt. Glass, first seen used as a pot, was being mixed with melted limestone, soda, sand, silicate and shaped into glass packaging.

Around 1200 B.C pots and mugs started to be made from molded glass. After the invention of the blow pipe in 300 B.C by the Phoenicians, the production of completely transparent glass was during the times after A.C. During the thousand years that followed glass production technique has improved and expanded.

The development that affected glass packaging the most was the patenting of the "automated rotary glass manufacture machine” in 1889. After the 1970s glass packaging begun to be used in high value products' protection and has a wide range of usages today.

Bonaparte Leadership in Metal Packaging

Since ancient times metal packaging seen in forms of gold and silver boxes as well as strong alloys and coverings is today being used to protect many products.

The production of tin sheet was invented in Bohemia in 1200 A.C. Afterwards in the beginning of 14th century tinned food cans have started to be used. This technology was kept a secret since the 1600s, and has been replaced by better quality and easier produced steel after William Underwood forwarded the process to USA.

The idea of putting food safely in metal packaging was first had in 1809 when Napoleon Bonaparte said he would award 12thousand Franks to whomever comes up with a method to protect the army's food supply.

Nikolas Appert from Paris presented that tinned can pressed with stannic has an ability to preserve food after it has been sterilized. A year later English man Peter Durant, earned to right to patent the cylindrical can with his pressed stannic invention.

The first printed box in the history of metal packaging was made in 1866 in USA. It wasn't until 1910 that it was in the stores commercially and the aluminum foil box design was developed in early 1950. The first aluminum canned food came out in 1959. Screws and hammers were being used to open metal packaging until 1866. Later, packaging with tearable lids was made. In 1875 can opener was invented.

Metal packaging that has passed through many phases and has renewed itself now offers convenience for practicality.

Plastic -The Newest Form of Packaging

First artificial plastic was prepared by Alexander Parker in 1838 and was displayed at the Grand International Fair in London in 1862. This plastic was intended to replace natural materials such as ivory and was dubbed "parkesin”. In 1849 Charles Goodyear and Thomas Hancock developed a procedure that destroyed the sticky property and added elasticity to natural rubber. In 1851 hard rubber or "ebonite” has become commercial.

In 1870 New Yorker John Wesley Hyatt was given a patent for "celluloid” produced in high temperatures and pressure and has low nitrate content. This invention is the first commercialized plastic and has remained as the only plastic until 1907 when Leo Hendrik Baekeland produced "Bakelite”.

What exactly plastic was, was not know until 1920 when Hermann Staudinger's revolutionary idea was heard. All plastics, rubber and cellulose were claimed to be polymers or macro molecules. This assumption was first not accepted widely by many scientists, but Staudinger received the Nobel Prize in 1953 with this idea.

Plastic packaging has begun to be used widely after 1950s. Towards the end of 1970s plastic packaging sector has begun to grow.

Paper Packaging Begins In China

Paper is the oldest re-shapeable packaging material. Mulberry tree barks were used in China in the 1st and 2nd centuries B.C to wrap food, and paper making techniques have improved during the following 1500 years and transported to the Middle East.

Paper making techniques have reached Europe and from Europe they reached England in 1310 and America in 1609. The first commercial cardboard box was produced in England in 1817, 200 years after China and corrugated cardboard was invented in 1850s, replacing wooden boxes in trade. The 20th century was the brightest era for paper and cardboard.