History of paper / cardboard


The papyrus, extracted from a reed of the Nile, appeared in Egypt around -3000 BC This material allowing to leave traces, especially in matters of religion, was competed at that time by the parchment, invented in the city from Pergamon, in Asia Minor. The parchment was crafted from washed and sanded calfskin and goatskins.


It was in AD 105 that the paper was discovered in China during the reign of Emperor Hoti. Tsaï-Lun, Minister of Agriculture, designed a pulp made from old rags, bark and nets reduced to a pulp.

7th century

It was in the 7th century that paper was introduced to Japan.


In 751, it is a battle which will allow the Arabs to discover the secrets of papermaking. Indeed, following their victory against the Chinese during the Battle of Samarkand, they get their hands on these secrets. As a result of this historical fact, the invention spread to Europe and we find traces of the first European paper mills in Cordoba, Spain, then in Seville.

13th century

The first written archival documents date back to the 13th century in France. One can in particular quote the “Minutes of Notary Marseillais” (1248) or the “Register of the Investigators of Alphonse de Poitiers” (1243).

14th century

The first French paper mills were built in the 14th century: in Troyes (1348) and Essonnes (1354).


It was not until 1445 that the modern printing press made its appearance. We owe it to a German silversmith by the name of Johannes Gensfleisch, known as Gutenberg.5 so that the modern printing press appeared.


The first continuous paper machine was invented on January 18, 1799. We owe it to Louis-Nicolas Robert, a young inspector at the Essonnes paper mill, who obtained a patent for his invention. This paper machine can produce 80 sheets of paper per day with a length of almost 6 meters at a lower cost.


Over the years, the need for paper increases. In Europe or the United States, the massive industrialization of papermaking began around 1825. 25 years later, there are no less than 300 paper machines in England, 250 in France and almost as many in Germany.


It was around 1850 that the first machine to manufacture multi-layer cardboard appeared. In 1856, Edward C. Haley filed in England the first patent for corrugated paper used in particular for making hats. The first patent for corrugated paper for packaging was filed in New York in 1871. The first French corrugating machine was installed in 1888 in Limousin.


Today, paper technologies are constantly evolving, contributing to the development of industry, the dissemination of knowledge and the packaging of consumer products.
The TUPACK group is part of this history of paper / cardboard material: for more than 60 years, we have been designing and manufacturing cylindrical packaging, cardboard tubes and cores that meet the requirements of all sectors of activity.

For further