Paper Box Manufacturers’ Machines for Oval Cutting, Circular Cutting… Patented ... 1864 [opening lines of broadside].
Rare unrecorded ca. 1870s American illustrated broadside advertising a device made by the Paper Box Factory in Philadelphia
It always seems amazing how one’s surname is often so closely aligned to one’s occupation (Dr. Foot, the podiatrist, etc.).
Here we have Charles W. Packer; Philadelphia paper box machine inventor and patent-holder working in tandem with the “Paper Box Factory” of George Bates. Both men list addresses on Fourth Street, Philadelphia.
For a manufacturer and/or a merchant, to be able to house — in “card-board”— hats, fashions, shoes, goods foodstuffs, etc. for the purposes of shelf advertisement, storage, transport, or protection from the elements the paper box container must have been a novel concept in the late 1860s, into the 1870s. The “Packer & Bates” device (see the name plate upon the broadside’s central image) could make such paper boxes, in various configurations, too.
Before there was plastic there was “card-board” (corrugated cardboard would come later) and Packer & Bates’ machine could cut ovals, circular forms, semi-circular forms, and straight edges using various attachments.
Our paper box manufacturing history is rusty, but it would seem Charles W. Packer and George Bates being given a patent as early as 1864 for this wünder-device would make them eligible candidates for the title of “First-Tier Paper Box Pioneers of America’s Nineteenth Century.” Their factory and machine likely aided in advancing the march toward mass-produced made-to-wear and made-to-use “right out of the box” goods in the post American Civil War era.
The Franklin Institute and the American Institute of Philadelphia and New York City, respectively, had awarded the two men with awards. The former awarded their prize at the 1874 Franklin Institute Exhibition and we suggest a date attribution of c. 1874–1876 for the appearance of this seemingly-unrecorded broadside.
Description: Paper Box Manufacturers’ Machines for Oval Cutting, Circular Cutting… Patented ... 1864 [opening lines of broadside].
[Philadelphia, c. 1874–1876]. Broadside. 11 x 8½ inches. 1 inch closed tear at fold. Near fine.