[ HOME ]Shaun's Milk Carton Collection



This page contains information about the history of the milk carton plus other things that can be done with milk cartons.



When searching the Internet on the history of the Milk Carton there is various stories about when they were invented. I have included each story plus a link to the original website.

Planet Ark http://www.planetark.org/cartons/carthist.html

The US Patent Office granted John Van Wormer a patent for his "paper bottle" on October 19, 1915. His patent was later acquired by the American Paper Bottle Company.

Several years were spent perfecting the Pure-Pak container and the machinery which formed, filled and sealed it. The first six machines were built between 1929 and 1934. (More information at linked website)

Recycled Paper Craft http://www.recycledpapercraft.com/milkcar.htm

Milk in paper cartons were first introduced in San Francisco in 1906. Using paper to package fluids was a formidable challenge due to its perforated nature. Paper will absorb moisture and will eventually disintegrate. To over come this problem, earlier version of milk carton were courted with paraffin wax. Another problem encounted was the top, bottom and side seams that had to be sealed to form a box. Animal glues were used in the beginning. These glues did not work well, causing leaks and contamination of the product. Milk is highly perishable and coming in contact with the animal glue or leaks made it go bad. (More information at linked website)

Tetra Pak http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tetra_Pak

Tetra Pak's first product was a revolutionary paper carton used for storing and transporting milk. The first product was called Tetra Classic. Rausing had been working on the design since 1943, and by 1950 had perfected techniques for making his cartons fully airtight, using a system of plastic coated paperboard. These initial cartons were tetrahedrons having 4 sides, leading to the company's name, which means "four" in Greek. In 1952 The first Tetra Classic package was launched, and later in 1963 the company introduced Tetra Brik, a rectangular carton.

Ruben Rausing's son Hans Rausing ran Tetra Pak from 1954 until 1985, taking the company from a seven-person concern to one of Sweden's largest corporations. Before his death in 1983, Ruben Rausing was Sweden's richest person.

Tetra Pak was founded on the concept that a package should save more than it costs.

Inventors http://www.goodbyemag.com/jan00/inventors.html

The cardboard container that milk comes in is one of the most ubiquitous and frustrating objects in the supermarket. It is effective at keeping milk fresh and efficient for transporting it, but it doesn’t work right. Half the time it fails to open correctly, producing a spout that drips and makes a mess. We can send a man to the moon, we can make an information superhighway that displaces our idiocy from one sort of video screen to another. But we can’t develop a milk carton that doesn’t drip. The horror.

The man we have to thank for faulty milk packaging is Gad Rausing, a Swede who became one of the richest men in the world. Starting in the 40s, his company began packaging milk and other perishables in innovative cardboard containers (More information at linked website)

Milk.com http://www.milk.com/experiments/exper17.html

The first company to come out with the paper milk carton was the Toronto East India Company, which developed it in 1824 due to a glass shortage, which turned out to be temporary. They reverted to glass in 1827, but in fact people complained because they had gotten used to the convenient parallelpiped shape--it stacked more neatly in the ice box--and the kids had already started regularly using the boxes for art projects (hats, bird feeders, etc.). Also, dropping a paper box wasn't nearly as tragic as dropping a glass bottle. It was only a matter of time before the whole industry switched to paper, and now only botique creameries retain glass for that anachronistic feel.


Paper Crafts

Planet Ark http://www.planetark.com/campaignspage.cfm/newsid/75/newsDate/12/story.htm

About Us| ©2006 Shaun Dietrich