A bit of egg trays’ history

Odd but true! People used to try keeping eggs in water, oil, melted fat and salt. In some cases, the results of these experiments justified the hopes and the expectations of the experimenters, but the transportation of this product turned to be far more complicated issue.

It is known that before the beginning of the last century when transporting eggs in various capacities, they shifted straw, sawdust or wood chips in between them. However, the relative effectiveness of these simple methods had their drawbacks.

Taking into account the state of the roads such primitive packaging did not always save the cargo from damage and, despite its availability, required specific (and sometimes tangible) costs.

Egg storage and transportation problem was solved in the first half of the twentieth century with the emergence of a special kind of packaging – an egg tray. The history preserved the name of Martin Keyes who had tried to make an egg tray of wood, extruding the material with help of steam. The ingenious idea was very close.

Once the inventor made an attempt to use just simple wooden dust that under certain processing easily took the necessary shape. So there appeared a simple and relatively cheap method of egg packaging manufacture which remains unchanged from the 30-ies of the last century.

The history of molded packaging production goes back to more than 100 years. The molded paper pulp is a modern material with long traditions and a great future.

The triumphal march of molded paper pulp on the planet began 100 years ago. If in 1903 it was used only for plates and trays, today it is considered a versatile packaging material suitable for food (eggs, fruit, vegetables, meat) and other goods.

Molded paper pulp first saw the light in 1903, when Martin Keyes founded his Keyes Fibre Company for the production of saucers and plates made of wooden waste and cellulose in Maine (USA). Thus, Keyes laid the cornerstone of the future triumph of the molded pulp packaging.

In 1915 he developed the first water repellent plates of molded paper pulp and in the late 20s there appeared a dining set of disposable tableware. In addition, "Keyes Fiber Company" was the first to offer the dining plates with separate sections for different types of food.

The modern-type egg carton with a lid and a lock appeared in the 1960s. This revolutionary invention greatly simplified handling and reduced the damage. Up to this time the eggs were bought by one and carried in baskets or paper bags where about 30% of them got crushed.

Nowadays, the molded paper pulp has proven itself to be the best packaging material not only for the eggs but also for other types of products such as fruits and meat. In addition, the high flexibility and the ability to take any shape made the molded paper pulp the ideal material for packaging of a wide variety of things, such as neon lamps, cell phones and electric shavers.

A few words in favor of the molded pulp packaging from the representatives of European Moulded Fibre Association (EMFA).

“Molded paper pulp egg packaging was designed to meet the most important properties of the eggshell (which is a perfect natural packaging by itself), namely: antibacterial agents in the wood prevent the growth of bacteria and millions of microspores make the packaging “breathe” thus ensuring an optimum ventilation and air-conditioning of products inside it. Also the absorbent properties of the material and the empty areas in the carton cells protect the fragile product against mechanical damages".

“The molded pulp fruit tray absorbs any moisture (including the moisture from the fruit), so that fruits can be packaged in various ways: wrapped up in polyethylene, etc. Hence, it is possible to adjust the moisture content and air in the package. As a result, each fruit creates an ideal microclimate for itself which allows it to stay fresh much longer."

The molded pulp packaging is being produced of the recycled or waste paper and therefore not only meets the requirements of the industry but also ensures environmental sustainability. The eco-friendly molded pulp packaging increases the attractiveness of the product and brand awareness in general. Suchwise, the modern technology of molded pulp packaging production makes a huge contribution to the environment protection."

The egg carton’s story

One day, a newspaper publisher Joseph Coyle heard a dispute between the owner of the farm and the owner of the hotel who were complaining of the next batch of broken eggs. After all, the standard method of delivery of such a fragile product was just in a basket. In 1911 it was a conventional but not a very reliable way to do it.

And then Mr. Coyle wondered: "Is it possible to safely deliver the egg from point A to point B?" 40-year-old publisher of domestic news in Bulkley (Britain) was quite ingenious. And he found a way out of the predicament. Joseph Coyle invented such packaging - the egg carton which remains practically unchanged up to this day.

Coyle came up with a intention to create a box with separate cells for the eggs. At first he made his box manually and then built a machine in order to keep up with the growing demand for packaging. Now this machine is exposed in the British Museum.

​​Joseph Coyle patented his idea in 1918. By 1919, Coyle sold his publishing house and moved to Vancouver to pursue new business. He founded his own factories in such cities as Toronto, Chicago, Los Angeles.

The carton’s picture below


The photo of the first machine below!!

For a long time Coyle was making his egg cartons manually until he created a mechanism capable of producing those cartons in large numbers

первая машина

The first egg cartons factory in Los Angeles, San-Pedres Street, February 1924