The History of the Pizza Box

Toller Artikel beim Atlantic von Alexis Madrigal über die technologische Entwicklung und die Geschichte des Pizza-Kartons. Alleine für den Begriff „pizza mobility solutions“ muss man diesen Artikel einfach lieben. Ich hab’ mir übrigens grade Pizza Salami, groß mit extra Käse, Paprika, Champignons, Knoblauch, Schinken, frischen Zwiebeln und rohem Ei bestellt und die kommt gleich in einer mobilen Pizza-Einheitslösung. Toll! Und: Whoa, hab’ ich jetzt einen Heißhunger auf Pizza, doh!

Since at least the 1800s, the bakers of Naples have had a solution for the problem of transporting pizza. They put hot pies into metal containers known as stufas and sent young touts into the streets to sell the food. The stufa was a round, vented tin or copper container with shelves that held the pizzas apart from one another.

While that might have worked for the streets of Naples — or other dense cities — it wasn’t going to work for the delivery business. There were two solutions to the problem for the exploding post-war American pizza market. First, there were regular old boxes, but those had a major defect. The moisture from the pizza would make the box all floppy. Oil could end up seeping easily through the bottom, too. Second, as described by Scott Weiner, who I would say is the undisputed expert on pizza mobility solutions, you could *bag* the pizza.

“In the 1940’s, lots of pizza purveyors offered take-out pies,” Weiner writes. “The pizza would sit on a stiff corrugated base, which could slide snugly into a large paper bag.”

The bag, while it kept heat in and allowed some moisture to escape, provided no protection for the pizza’s face. They worked OK for take-out, but what about delivery? It’s hard to transport more than one pie in a bag.

In the traditional story of the pizza box, Tom Monaghan’s pizza empire, Domino’s, developed the corrugated box in the early 1960s, marking a major advance in pizza technology. These wonder boxes could be stacked. They had vents. All around, the flatpacked, foldable corrugated pizza box was one of those small inventions that seem almost inevitable after someone comes up with it.

The 3 Big Advances in the Technology of the Pizza Box (via MeFi, Bild: Höeks Death Metal Pizza aus Nick Shermans Pizza-Set)