The History Of Shopping Bags

December 26, 2013 in Daily Bulletin

Maggie Lange took a look at the history of the humble shopping bag:

  • Up until the 1800s shoppers used to bring their own bags to stores.
  • Then the mass production of paper allowed stores to provide their own packaging – although they would charge for the bags.
  • A shopping bag with handles wasn’t invented until 1912 when a grocer realized that his customers were limited in how much they could buy by how much they could carry.
  • The grocer patented the invention, sold them for an inflation adjusted $1.12 per bag, and sold millions.
  • Around the late 1940s stores realized that their bags were also a branding opportunity and started printing their logos on them.
  • In 2002 a Museum of Bags was launched.
  • Today it seems like the era of the shopping bag might be coming to an end. The trend these days is for customers to, once again, bring their own bags. That is when they’re not shopping online.

Read more about the person who first created a machine that could easily produce shopping bags, how Bloomingdale’s led the way in bag branding, and more over here.

Source: New York Magazine