When Were Paper Plates Invented?

Paper plates are a commonly used item in households, picnics, and parties. They are convenient for carrying food, easy to dispose of and can be bought at affordable prices. But when were paper plates first invented? Who came up with the idea of replacing traditional ceramic or metal plates with a disposable alternative?

The history of paper plates dates back to the early 1900s when they were initially introduced as “disposable dishware.” The invention of paper plates is attributed to Martin Keyes who created an early version made out of wax-coated cardboard in 1904. However, he faced problems selling his product since it was too expensive to produce on a large scale.

In 1915, two Boston-based entrepreneurs Lawrence Luellen and Hugh Moore set out to improve upon Keyes’ original design and patented their own version named Dixie Cups Company which later became Dixie Products Company. Their innovation involved adding inner layers of paper pulp covered by outer layers of wax coating that made the plate stronger and more durable than Keyes original design.

Despite patenting their product in 1917 with great success during WWI supplying other nations with necessary supplies including all kinds of utensils such as snack cups containers for explosives even facial wipes after chemical exposure among many others; these companies needed some time before achieving commercial success – It wasn’t until decades later that demand increased significantly thanks largely due post-WWII economic growth rates skyrocketing alongside technology advancements enabling faster production lines capable spitting out thousands hotdog trays per hour making them nearly ubiquitous American streets summertime escapades alike.

Interestingly though, as disposable products such as plastic have become contributing factors towards pollution resulting from human activity globally plastic replaced almost everything over wasteful options like wood or styrofoam however biodegradable options started becoming popular again come around last decade’s discussions especially themed events etc., people increasingly turn alternatives eco-friendly solutions.

Today, paper plates come in a variety of shapes, sizes, and designs. They are used in different settings from outdoor events to indoor dining occasions. The disposable nature of these plates makes them an attractive option for quick meals or when feeding large groups of people.

To conclude, the rise of the paper plate as a popular household item can be traced back to the early 1900s when they were initially introduced by Martin Keyes and later patented by L.L Luellen and Hugh Moore with commercial success coming after several economies began flourishing post-WWII technologies improvements enabling faster production lines capable spitting out thousands hotdog trays per hour which is enough now for every street vendor who utilizes these increasingly environmentally conscious alternatives biodegradable options starting taking over last decade especially at themed events etc.. Paper plates continue to serve their function as an invaluable part of our daily lives today.
In short, paper plates have come a long way from their early wax-coated cardboard versions to the biodegradable options we have today. While they may seem like a small object in our daily lives, they have played an important role in our historical and societal development.