THIS WEEK THAT WAS – 27 MARCH 1936

Packaging is wrapped up

Before the advent of wrapping machines hundreds were employed in wrapping small confections like chocolate in tinfoil or caramels in waxed paper, sometimes neatly folded, sometimes merely with the ends twisted.

All the goods which are today displayed in shop windows in attractive covers were at that time [around 1899] entirely wrapped by hand.

Girls paid five or six shillings a week could wrap up to 15 to 20 pieces a minute. There was thus little inducement to mechanise the work unless higher speeds could be attained.

The first commercially successful machine in Europe for wrapping small pieces of chocolate was made in Leeds in 1901, and several were supplied to the English and Swiss chocolate makers which worked at 100 pieces per minute with two operators.