In the late 1850/60s, many scientists and inventors were focused on a new field of research: the creation of the modern day paper bag. It was such a hot topic that the original designer is unknown. The three possible inventors are Margaret Knight, William Goodale, and Francis Wolle.
Francis Wolle born in Jacobsburg, Pennsylvania, December 17, 1817 invented the paper bag making machine in 1852 in the United States. In 1852 he patented in the United States, and later in France and England, a machine that he devised for making paper bags. It was the first of its kind, and covers the fundamental principle of the many similar machines that are now used. Further advancements during the 1870s included glued paper sacks and the gusset design, producing the types of paper bags used today.
In 1869, Wolle and his brother and other leading paper bag makers founded the Union Paper Bag Machine Company. Union Bag and Paper Co.'s decision to open a plant in Savannah was great news to depressed Savannah in 1935. The company, founded by paper bag machine inventor Francis Wolle, opened its $4 million plant with 500 workers the next year. Savannah citizens streamed through the plant on opening day to ooh and ahh at the production of a thousand feet of paper per minute. The plant is still in operation today and is owned by International Paper.
Milestones: --1852 Francis Wolle invents and patents paper bag machine. --1869 Wolle and his brother and other paper bag makers found Union Paper Bag Machine Company. --1870 Margret Knight invents a device to cut, fold and paste paper bag bottoms --1871 Charles Annon files patent application similar to Knight's design --1871 Knight, filed a patent interference suit against Annan.and the court rules in her favor --1872 132,890 (US) issued November 12, 1872 to Charles Annan for paper bag machine --1883 Charles Stilwell awarded patent for making Square-Bottom Paper Bag w/ pleated sides --1890 William Purvis awarded a patent for an improved paper bag machine --1891 Purvis sells patent license to Union Paper Bag Machine Co., now part of International Paper --1893 Death of Francis Wolle