History of Chinese Boxes in the USA

chinese boxes

You will be surprised to know that there is so much history behind the custom Chinese takeout boxes. The cute little takeout containers we usually get from the Chinese restaurants have an interesting story. Your mind will be blown away when you know everything about them. Even though these disposable food containers are an iconic creation by America, they have only been associated with Chinese cuisine. 

The Chinese takeaway box is easy to produce and convenient but features an attractive and visually appealing design. Moreover, it is easy to unfold them into plates, and this little and known fact has been discovered very recently. Here are some facts about the history of Chinese boxes.

Chinese boxes have been Around Since 1894

In Chicago, on November 13th, 1864, takeout boxes Frederick Weeks Wilcox produced wholesale. He patented a small box with a paper pail, reported in Times Magazine. One piece of paper was taken, and it was smoothly folded into a leak-proof container. The finishing touch was given with a wire handle. The evolution was done using the oyster pail, and during that time, no one could have imagined how Chinese takeout boxes could be made with this technology. Surprisingly, the Chinese boxes are still referred to as oyster pails by the traditional people.

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The Rise of Chinese-American Food

Chinese food boxes was first introduced in the mid-1800s because some Chinese immigrants came to California and settled there, and that too during the Gold Rush. When the food started getting popular, Chinatowns were established all over the state and later in the country. The Chinese restaurants introduced during that time had a more American flavor. Small Chinese takeout boxes were introduced first, and many other boxes were produced later.

Chinese foods couldn’t catch up with the mainstream in America until World War Two, and they offered only two menus. Few dishes were purely Chinese cuisine, while the other dishes were focused on American flavor. Nevertheless, the Chinese takeout boxes are trendy among people worldwide, and now people can’t live without them in the modernized world.

Chinese Food and Paper Containers

As Chinese food was becoming very popular in the cities and suburbs in the 1950s and the Chinese takeout boxes bulk was produced in large quantities. The sturdy boxes seemed ideal for all the people as the Chinese food remained warm and hygienic. The popularity was growing considerably, and the surprising factor was that these boxes could turn into plates. It facilitated easy and comfortable eating at any time of the day. 

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The Chinese takeout box plate was easy to manage, and it could be disposed of without any problems. The boxes have a flat surface at the base, the design is leak-proof, and they can be transported from one place to the other quite easily. Many restaurants now offer personalized Chinese takeout boxes, and they can pack all the sauce-heavy foods with a lot of protection. Nowadays, the containers have evolved, and they are made from solid bleached sulfate paperboard and paper, or plastic is no longer in use. The designs today are very similar to the older style. The Chinese takeout boxes wedding favors are seen at most weddings nowadays, and guests love them.

Chinese Boxes are Recyclable and Microwaveable

Many people have been imitating white fold-up takeout boxes with Wilcox’s recent invention. The best thing about mini Chinese takeout boxes is that they are recyclable and microwaveable at the same time. The Chinese food you order at home will remain warm inside these boxes, but you can also use them to re-heat the food when it reaches home. You can also use these boxes to store valuable items at home. 

The materials used for manufacturing these boxes are eco-friendly, and it doesn’t harm people’s environment and health. Traditionally, graphic designers didn’t have many innovative ideas to produce a good artwork, and most of the boxes resembled the Greek Themed coffee cup. However, the illustrations originated a few decades ago, and they kept evolving in the 19th century itself. Nowadays, there are a lot of valentine’s Chinese takeout boxes, and they are gifted to partners, families, and friends. The hot soups can keep you warm during winters, and this is another reason why people in the past also used to order them.

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