The origin of cardboard box
The first commercial paperboard (not corrugated) box was produced in England in 1817. Cardboard box packaging was made the same year in Germany.
The Scottish-born Robert Gair invented the pre-cut cardboard or paperboard box in 1890 – flat pieces manufactured in bulk that folded into boxes. Gair's invention came about as a result of an accident: he was a Brooklyn printer and paper-bag maker during the 1870s, and one day, while he was printing an order of seed bags, a metal ruler normally used to crease bags shifted in position and cut them. Gair discovered that by cutting and creasing in one operation he could make prefabricated paperboard boxes. Applying this idea to corrugated boxboard was a straightforward development when the material became available around the turn of the twentieth century.
The advent of flaked cereals increased the use of cardboard boxes. The first to use cardboard boxes as cereal cartons was the Kellogg Company.
Corrugated (also called pleated) paper was patented in England in 1856, and used as a liner for tall hats, but corrugated boxboard was not patented and used as a shipping material until December 20, 1871. The patent was issued to Albert Jones of New York City for single-sided (single-face) corrugated board. Jones used the corrugated board for wrapping bottles and glass lantern chimneys. The first machine for producing large quantities of corrugated board was built in 1874 by G. Smyth, and in the same year Oliver Long improved upon Jones's design by inventing corrugated board with liner sheets on both sides. This was corrugated cardboard as we know it today.
The first corrugated cardboard box manufactured in the USA was in 1895. By the early 1900s, wooden crates and boxes were being replaced by corrugated paper shipping cartons.
By 1908, the terms "corrugated paper-board" and "corrugated cardboard" were both in use in the paper trade.
Cardboard boxes have been used there since 1840...