In 1912, when Thomas A. Edison, considered by most to be the best inventor of the 20th century, applied for
and received patent No. 1201448 for a “coating apparatus” little did he know that his invention would spawn
another entirely new industry. He had created water-activated tape (also referred to as gummed tape, or kraft
paper tape). This is considered today by many industry experts to be the most secure way to seal cartons.
In 1924, Alfred and Theodore moved Better Packages from Brooklyn to Shelton, Connecticut to be closer to markets in the bustling Bridgeport to Waterbury manufacturing corridor. The brothers continued to invent and patent products that brought Better Packages to the leadership role it has enjoyed for over 90 years.
In 1927, Central had added equipment, built additions, and developed sound distribution across the United States. Business increased as a solid blend of hard-working people, pride, innovation and quality became the company formula.
In 1957, Better Packages introduced the Better Pack 333, which is still being produced today and remains the world’s best-selling manual tape dispenser.
In 1966, Central took occupancy of a new 20,000 sq. ft. warehouse building adjoining its present plant and began installation of a new reinforcing/laminating machine climaxing two years of study and engineering. This machine allowed Central to produce, rather than purchase asphaltic and non-asphaltic glass reinforced laminated base stock for its reinforced tape products.
Meanwhile, in Menasha, Wisconsin, Central Paper Company (originally known as the George Banta Paper
Company) began. After a couple years of producing mostly adding machine rolls, the company expanded
into the water-activated tape field by purchasing a gumming machine.
In April 1968, Central Paper Company purchased the gummed sealing tape division of 3M Company, St. Paul, Minnesota. This acquisition added materially to the company's volume of business. Later that year, Central began operating its own fleet of trucks between Menasha and Chicago to increase service and reduce freight costs.
In 1982, Central took a major step towards computerization by putting inventory control on computer. This process made inventory control much faster, more accurate and less time consuming. This led to computerization of other aspects of the business, including the glue mixing process, coater monitoring systems, and data collection system. Sales personnel were also tied into the main system via personal computers.
In 2014, Better Packages relocated to Ansonia, CT. The new facility provided upgraded technology, an improved manufacturing work flow, and overall ease of operations.
In 1920, the plant and land of the Peerless Paper Products Company in Menasha, Wisconsin, was purchased. The plant moved to the new location and the name of the company was changed to Central Paper Company. During this time, a new and different type of gumming machine was acquired and the original machine was sold.
In 1999, Central was purchased by IPG. The acquisition further solidified IPG as a leader in the fulfillment and packaging industry, adding water-activated tape to its robust lineup of carton sealing tape solutions.
On June 7, 2004, Better Packages celebrated the shipment of its one millionth BP333 Dispenser with the mayor of Shelton, Connecticut proclaiming it officially “Better Packages Day.”
In 1959, Better Packages introduced the Better Pack 555, which is still in production and is the only electronic water-activated tape dispenser in the industry to be UL Listed (approved by the independent safety certification company, Underwriters Laboratory).
A year after moving to an upgraded facility in Ansonia, Connecticut, Better Packages became part of the IPG family. The acquisiton positioned IPG as the premier solutions provider to the growing electronic fulfillment market as a leading provider of water-activated tape and WAT dispensers.
In 2017, we are celebrating the rich histories of two great companies, now part of the IPG family. After 100 years, IPG remains committed to the vision of the original patent holder, Thomas Edison, developing innovative products that deliver real solutions for the packaging and fulfillment industry worldwide. IPG offers “The Complete Package,” a broad portfolio of inside- and outside-the-box fulfillment solutions for any internet retailer, mail order/catalog provider, and 3PL.
In 1917, strong demand for this new tape did not go unnoticed by two enterprising brothers from Brooklyn,
NY, Alfred and Theodore Kruger, who formed what would become Better Packages, Inc. Their company
developed equipment to more efficiently use water-activated tape.