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Sneak Preview of Historical Exhibit “Pack to the Future” at PACK EXPO Las Vegas

The History of Packaging Explored

Las Vegas

Later this month, from September 27th-29th, the PACK EXPO will be coming to the Las Vegas Expo Center and GCB Solutions will be there. One of the highlights of this year’s expo is sure to be the historical exhibit, “Pack to the Future”, which will showcase and display the history of

packaging and how the roots of the industry inform us today. There are dozens of events, exhibits and vendors on the floor of the Expo Center, so build out your show planner in advance, in order to make sure you don’t miss any of the action.

A Historical Exhibit Nearly Two Years in the Making

Packaging Exhibit

Jack Aguero, president, Aguero Associates, and Brent Meyer, president of Meyer Communications have been working on assembling PACK to the Future for nearly two years. The original plan was to display the exhibit at PACK EXPO International in 2020, but it was unfortunately delayed due to the pandemic. Really, the exhibit has been in development for almost two hundred years and one of the keystone components will be Margaret Knight’s flat-bottomed bag machine, which received a patent in the 1870’s. In total, 28 historic packaging and processing machines representing the late 1800’s all the way up to the 1980’s, will be available to view.

Unexpected Sources

The history of packaging is rich with inventions and contributions from unexpected sources. Women entered the workforce in droves during World War II, but they had already been a major part of the packaging industry since the 1890’s. Aguero and Meyer actually discovered that Heinz offered free weekly manicures and hot showers for women as a perk for working their packaging lines.

Another interesting recurring theme for the curators was often the biggest innovations in packaging came from people outside of the industry. Ruben Rausing, the Swedish inventor of Tetra Pak, was inspired to create the iconic paper-based package for milk by watching his wife tie off sausage ends.


Ideas for the Future Come from History

One of the most dynamic parts of this interactive exhibit will undoubtedly be the PACK to the Future Stage, featuring free presentations by industry experts showcasing advancements in sustainable solutions, smart packaging and even artificial intelligence. Upcoming inventions, such as self-heating cans and packages made from plant fibers that will be demonstrated on stage, actually see their origins decades ago. Soldiers were given self-heating cans during war, but they were not deemed safe for the public at the time. The through-line of the industry’s origins to where we are today will be on full display in the North Hall with sections dedicated to Packaging Past, Packaging Present and Packaging Future.

If you find yourself in Las Vegas later this month, be sure to take in all of this and more at the PACK to the Future exhibit, as part of PACK EXPO 2021.


Looking for modern solutions to your packaging needs? At GCB Solutions, our breadth of knowledge makes sure you will have the best packaging available for your company. Call us at (904) 263-2802 or schedule a free consultation, today.


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