History of product packaging in film and video

Video of Month
Monday, August 19, 2019

This month we feature a film produced by Fenton McHugh Productions of Evanston, Illinois for Milprint Inc. Milprint started business in 1899 as the Milwaukee Printing Company. The core of their business involved packaging for candy that first used aluminum foil and later cellophane as well as other synthetic materials. They changed their name to Milprint Inc. in 1936 as they began to expand nationally through acquisitions and an ever-increasing customer base.

Through innovations in design and materials, their business came to include a variety of packaging options for various consumer goods as demonstrated in a recently acquired film from 1959: 

Philip Morris, Inc., acquired Milprint in 1957. It continued to operate under its own name as Philip Morris’s largest non-tobacco unit and was then sold to the Bemis Company, Inc., in 1990. Milprint, Inc., continues in business as part of Bemis’s Banner Packaging Division. Hagley Library has a small collection of Milprint Inc. records.

More films about packing from Hagley's film and video archive:

"Watch Your Stop! A 5 Point Plan For Better Selling," The Cellophane Division of the DuPont Company, 1939. 

"The Impulse Payoff," [DuPont Cellophane], DuPont Company, 1952.

"Industry on Parade: Waste materials," National Association of Manufacturers, 1954.

DuPont cellophane commercial from Cavalcade of America, DuPont Company, c. 1955.

"Industry on Parade: What's in a package?," National Association of Manufacturers, 1958.

"Bible Wrapped in Brooklyn," DuPont Company, c. 1970.

"A Proven Recipe For Packaging Success," DuPont Company, c. 1980.

The Hagley Library currently has over 2,000 films and videos from our collection online at digital.hagley.org. For a more comprehensive look at our motion picture collection, check out findingaids.hagley.org or contact us at research@hagley.org

Kevin J. Martin is the Andrew W. Mellon Curator of Audiovisual and Digital Collections at Hagley Museum and Library.