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Fascinating facts about the invention
of the
Shopping Bag by Walter Deubner in 1912.
Walter H. Deubner ran a small grocery store in St. Paul, Minnesota, and he was looking for a way to give his business a boost.
Flat Bottom Shopping Bag By careful observation, he noticed that his customers purchases were limited by what they could conveniently carry. So he set about devising a way to help them buy more purchases at one time. It took him four years to develop the right solution: a prefabricated package, inexpensive, easy to use-and strong enough to carry up to seventy-five pounds worth of groceries.
The package consisted of a paper bag with cord running through it for strength. Deubner named his new product after himself, calling it the "Deubner Shopping Bag," and sold it for five cents. Deubner patented his product and within three years, by 1915, was selling over a million shopping bags a year.


Invention of the Shopping Cart   from The Great Idea Finder
Invention of the Paper Bag   from The Great Idea Finder

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; (September 1997)
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.
What Can You Do with a Paper Bag?
by Judith Cressy / Paperback: 64 pages / Chronicle Books; (June 2001)

Armed with scissors, tape, and glue, it's easy to turn an ordinary paper bag into an extraordinary hat, wig, mask or crown. An engaging activity book for both home and classroom.
Shopping Bag : Portable Art
by STEPHEN C. WAGNER / Hardcover: 96 pages / Random House Value Publishing; (1986)
The Bag Book: Over 500 Great Uses and Reuses for Paper, Plastic and Other Bags
by Vicki Lansky, Martha Campbell / Paperback: 120 pages / Book Peddlers; (September 30, 2000)

Everyone accumulates them, but few have so many inventive ideas for bags as Vicki Lansky. Pinatas, kites, jump ropes, and hand puppets are just the beginning in this lively compendium of ways to get organized, make crafts, and clean up.

In the mid-1980's, Walter H. Deubner, a Minneapolis grocer who made a fortune by patenting his invention, the PAPER SHOPPING BAG, donated a large tract of lake front property to Handihams for furtherance of their mission.
Shopping Bag History Project
Students will use a shopping bag as a format for researching and displaying information about a specific topic in Iowa history.
Saint Paul City Guide
Saint Paul has a rich history and has been the site of many historic events. From inventions to the construction and growth of our great city.
The Metropolitan Museum of Art Shopping Bag
As fresh as when it first appeared in the late 1970's, the eye-catching shopping bag from The Metropolitan Museum of Art has become an American icon. Over one million bags are printed every year, making it one of the most visible symbols of the largest repository of art in the Western hemisphere.


Reference Sources in BOLD Type This page revised January, 2005.

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