The First Paper Sacks
The advent of paper machines, able to produce endless webs, and concerns to run short of cotton supply from the South of the USA resulted in the idea of making sacks out of paper shortly before the Civil War in the US.
The First Paper Sack Machines
Francis Wolle from Pennsylvania was the first one to invent a bag machine and to mechanise paper converting. On this basis James Arkell from New York was rewarded a patent for the first tuber for paper sacks in 1879, used to produce sacks for the flour industry. Major improvements were made by Fischer & Krecke in 1917 (multi-ply tuber) and Windmöller & Hölscher in 1934 (pasted valve bottomer).
Gustav Fischer devised a machine which could print on the paper from the roll with an aniline ink type. This made the sacks more attractive to the eye and allowed the identification the manufacturer and the product which it contained.
The most important development that still determines the shape of the sack industry for a large part nowadays is the invention of the valve sack by Adelmer Bates in 1898, patented in 1908.
The use of paper sacks widened after 1905, when they were found suitable to hold cement and to replace wooden barrels used previously for this purpose. Paper sacks finally saw their breakthrough in 1924, when Bates perfected the valve sack, thus limiting the respiratory health problems which were connected to sack filling before.
Since then, the paper sack has become the ideal packaging for many different products.