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All About The Paper Bag Making Machine: Its History, Inventors, and Types

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All About The Paper Bag Making Machine: Its History, Inventors, and Types

Jun 25, 2020 | Blog

Paper bags have helped to eradicate the use of plastic packaging to a significant extent. Now, the majority of production units and high-end outlets are using paper bags to fulfill their packaging needs. Even customers reuse those bags to carry groceries home and for many other outdoor activities. Unlike plastic bags, paper bags are 100% recyclable, biodegradable, and reusable and do not add anything to the already inflated pollution levels. 

A Paper bag manufacturing machine is one of the best inventions that happened to take the world towards a better future. The machine produces high-quality paper bags that filled a need that people didn’t know they had. Before the invention of paper bags, people were entirely dependent on plastic bags to meet their packaging and storing needs. The increasing use of plastic bags was becoming a major threat to the environment and converting this planet into a trash bin. But the invention of paper bags provided a solution to the problem that seemed unsolvable. 

A paper carry bag making machine produces bags by making precise utilization of all the required resources that lower the cost of production so that business owners could stock stacks of paper bags and completely eliminate the use of plastic ones.

The invention of paper bags seemed ordinary at first, but as it assisted people in moving towards more eco-friendly and professional means of packaging, the same made a place in everyone’s heart. Let’s peep into the history of these bags to know more about the evolution of these bags.

The history behind the invention of paper bags

Through the British Empire, bags made from canvas, jute, and burlap were used to carry goods and other products. The bags were durable and sturdy. But every good thing is followed by some drawbacks, and the same goes for these bags. The bag production demanded the investment of a lot more money and time. This thing made the bags quite expensive and compelled people to find another best alternative that came in the form of paper bags.

The first paper bag was introduced in the 1800s that further went under several upgrades until its design became similar to what we are using today. In the mid 18th century, Francis Wolle invented the first paper bag making machine to mass-produce paper bags. Although the machine produced bags that look more like a giant mail envelope, it still stood as a catalyst for shifting towards the use of paper bags.

Then a new paper bag design came from Margaret Knight when she was working as a prolific inventor for Columbia Paper Bag Company. There she realized that a square bottom bag would be a better option than Wolle’s envelope bag. She built a machine in the industrial shop that was appreciated in the respective market and allowed her to open her own company, the Eastern Paper Bag Company. 

Later, Charles Stillwell, a mechanical engineer by profession, designed easily foldable paper bags that helped people to store different products. 

In the year 1918, two grocers named Lydia and Walter Denbener came with another brilliant improvement in the design of paper bags. They punched holes into the sides of paper bags and attached a string that worked as a handle. This made carrying of groceries and other products much more convenient for customers.

The types of paper bags

The design of paper bags has come a long way since 1800. The initial design by Francis Wolle and today’s design have a big difference, which anyone can quickly notice. At present, we have a wide range of paper bags from which we can choose the one that suits our needs. Here, we are listing multiple varieties of bags that you can have for your business or personal use:

  • Pinch-Bottom Design Bags: The bags are designed with an open-mouth, and their base features a pointed seal similar to an envelope. They are mainly used in bakeries to pack baked goods and other food products.


  • S.O.S. Bags: The bags are designed by Stillwell and can stand on their own while items are loaded into them. These are famous for their iconic Kraft brown tint (although they can be dyed in other colors) and are perfect for packing lunch boxes.


  • Merchandise Bags: Merchandise bags are similar to pinch-bottom paper bags and are widely used to hold multiple things, ranging from craft supplies to baked goods and candy. They can be acquired in a variety of colors.


  • Euro Tote: These bags are known for their sophisticated look and are specifically used at gift outlets to make the packing of products beautiful.


  • Party Bags: As the name suggests, these bags are creatively made and best suited for cheerful occasions. You can fill these bags with candies & mementos. 


  • Recycled Bags: For the environment lovers, there is no better choice than recycled kraft bags. The bags are generally composed of 40% to 100% recycled materials and preserve the environment from excess pollution.

Wrapping up

Paper bags have transformed multiple times in the past few centuries by great inventors who want to make paper bags a convenient way to carry goods. At present, paper bags not only remain a medium of packaging but also have become a marketing asset for businesses. A paper carry bag making machine can produce customized bags that represent a business creatively and help the brand incept into the minds of customers.

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