Mass Production

New mass-production and distribution methods, along with new packaging materials, changed the way food was integrated into people's lives. In 1899, wax-seal packaging, invented by Henry G. Eckstein, gave manufacturers the ability to more widely distribute fresh, perishable goods. These advances in packaging technology made staples like flour and meat more readily available. Hermetically sealed containers, which offered consumers shelf-stable food products, were another major development. The use of tin cans to seal cooked food made possible a yearround supply of foods that previously had been available only seasonally.

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Fig. 1.18Carnation condensed milk.

All the products that used these new inventions were advertised through the packaging design. This marked the beginning of the use of packaging design to communicate technological innovation and product developments (figs. 1.18 through 1.22).

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Fig. 1.19Carton machine, circa 1910. This machine—which folded, glued, filled, weighed, and sealed thirty 2-pound or 5-pound cartons per minute and required only one operator—was revolutionary for its time.

The U.S. Congress, struggling with how to manage a free-market system and still protect consumers, passed the Pure Food and Drug Act in 1906. It was the first set of regulations ...

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