In the United States, I expect that I could walk into any store and they would have bags for me to put my purchase in.

When did stores start providing this service?

I would accept any non-US history as an answer. I'm mostly interested in how we moved from a world with no mass-produced bags into one where bags are everywhere ( and when that happened, of course ).


1 Answer 1



In the age of street vendors and sprawling town markets, shoppers carried purchases in their own baskets and bowls. It wasn’t until the early 1800s, writes Pamela Klaffke in Spree: A Cultural History of Shopping, that stores began to provide packaging themselves. The mass production of paper had cheapened the cost of wrapping, and stores would use string to create makeshift handles.

So roughly at the middle of the industrial revolution.

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