Milwaukee Paper Box Company

1560 West Pierce Street, Milwaukee, Wisconsin


Milwaukee Paper Box Company

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"The Milwaukee Paper Box Company, located at 1560 West Pierce Street, has local significance under Criterion A in the category of Industry with a period of significance beginning in 1920 and ending in 1938. In the early twentieth century, there was a growing need for boxes as consumers increasingly purchased packaged goods at retailers. Walter C. Carlson founded the Milwaukee Paper Box Company in 1905 and quickly aligned his company with Milwaukee's growing confectionery industry, which was ranked fourth in the nation by 1920 . An innovative business leader, Carlson recognized that attractive packaging helped sell fine candies and he employed a team of artists to design decorative labels that adorned his company's signature boxes , which were shipped as far as Europe and China. These elegant labels distinguished the company from the many paper box manufacturers operating in Milwaukee during this period that produced less unique boxes. Encouraged by a candy boom following World War I, Carlson built this property in 1920. Designed by local architects Schnetzky and Son, the building represents the final and largest facility occupied by the Milwaukee Paper Box Company . When it opened, the factory was hailed as ""the most complete paper box plant in the world,"" but even that acclaim could not steady a dwindling confectionery industry, which experienced a rapid decline during the 1920s and 1930s. The Milwaukee Paper Box Company owned the building until 1938, at which point it became used for automobile storage under new owners."

Update Log 

  • August 10, 2014: Added by Dave King

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