facts about the invention
of the Milk Carton by John Van Wormer in 1915.
|Paper containers for milk
are now so commonplace that it is hard to imagine that it took over twenty patient years
of persistence to get the public to accept them. But it did, and the man who is
responsible is named John Van Wormer. Van Wormer owned a toy factory in Toledo, Ohio. He
got the idea for paper milk cartons after dropping a milk bottle one morning. The bottle
broke, the milk went everywhere, and it was an annoying way to start the day.
||Van Wormer took out a patent in 1915 for
his new product. He called it "Pure-Pak," because the container could be thrown
away after one use. Then the difficulties began. It took all of ten years for Van Wormer
to perfect a machine capable of making the containers.
|Even then the struggle was
not over, for most Americans were very attached to milk in bottles. But time, and a steady
increase in the cost of glass, worked in Van Wormers favor. Soon many other
companies were making their own paper milk cartons, and by 1950, Van Wormers company
was producing them at the rate of 20,000,000 a day.
TO LEARN MORE
ON THE BOOKSHELF:
Why Didn't I Think of That?:
Bizarre Origins of Ingenious Inventions We
Couldn't Live Without
by Allyn Freeman, Bob Golden / Paperback - 260 pages / John Wiley & Sons;
Filled with wacky and fascinating facts, awe-inspiring success statistics,
and rags-to-riches stories, Chronicles the odd origins behind 50 famous
inventions and reveals the business side of each product's actual
production, marketing, and distribution.
Milk: From Cow
by Aliki / Paperback: 32 pages / Harpercollins Juvenile Books; Revised edition (October
Aliki takes readers on a guided tour that begins with grazing cows, proceeds
through milking and a
trip to the dairy, and ends with some different foods made from milk.
The Milk Makers
by Gail Gibbons / Paperback: 32 pages / Aladdin Paperbacks; (June 1987)
Cows eat special feed to make good milk. But after the cow is
milked, there are still many steps the milk must go through before it reaches you. This
book describes them all. And you'll be surprised to find how many other things you eat and
drink come from milk, too.
Didn't I Think of That (
This title is out of print.
by Webb Garrison / Hardcover - 120 pages
(1977) / Prentice Hall / ISBN: 0139586032
ON THE WEB:
The History of Cartons
The Pure-Pak carton has come a long way since its humble start in 1915. Since then,
it has undergone continuous development in order to satisfy consumers and to
protect its contents.
of the Milk Carton
American Paper Company acquired Van Wormer's patent and worked
on to perfect the machines. In 1934 Ex-Cell-O
Corporation, a Detroit-based automobile machinery manufacturing company, acquired the
rights to manufacture and distribute the Pure-Pak system.
Machines to Make the Cartons
For Arthur J. Evers Corporation, the milk carton has become the key
ingredient in their continuing success. The Riverton, New Jersey,
machine shop sits just across the Delaware River from Philadelphia, and
specializes in paper-converting machinery – more specifically, creating
machines to score and cut milk cartons.
Elopak was formed in 1957 as the European licensee of Pure-Pak® and became a major
supplier of Pure-Pak® cartons in Europe. In 1987, Elopak purchased the U.S. assets of
Ex-Cell-O Corporation's Packaging Systems Division.
Sources in BOLD Type
page revised February, 2005.
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