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Manufacturers Index - General Package Co.
Last Modified: Dec 4 2019 3:16PM by Jeff_Joslin
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In 1902 the Williams Wire-Hinging Machine Co. was incorporated by William H. Potter, William McMurray, and William Edge. They patented a series of improvements to machinery to make boxes joined together by interlocking clinched staples that required minimal labor and that folded flat. The company did a fair amount of promotion for their new machines and they seem to have been successful. By March 1908 the company's products were being manufactured and sold by General Package Co., which seems to have come into existence at that time with a whopping $300,000 in capital: General Package may have been a reorganization of the Williams company, or it may have been founded for the purpose of taking over the Williams company. Either way, the General Package Company soon announced improved versions of their Williams wire-hinging machines. The founders of the Williams company remained with the General Package Company, with McMurray and Potter both serving as company directors at one time or another.

The General Package Company grew rapidly for a while, in 1909 taking in another $50,000 in capital and opening a plant in Aberdeen, WA. The trade journals frequently mention big sales made by the firm. After about 1914 things seemed to quiet down, and in 1927 a trade journal mentioned that The General Package Company of Aberdeen, Wash., had increased its capital stock to $350,000, and they were "one of the largest manufacturers of wooden packages on the Pacific Coast." A 1957 trademark registration was to the General Package Co. of Darien, Conn., which we suspect was an unrelated company because we can find no reliable data points on the company between 1927 and 1957.

Information Sources

  • Patent records provide key names and dates.
  • 1902-08-21 The Iron Trade Review. "The Williams Wire Hinging Machine Co., of Whitehall, N. Y., has been incorporated with $65,000 capital. William H. Potter, William McMurray, and William Edge are the incorporators."
  • March 1906 The Trow Copartnership and Corporation Directory of New York lists "Williams Wire Hinging Machine Co. (no inf.) 30 G'wich av." There is no listing for General Package Co.
  • March 1908 The Trow Copartnership and Corporation Directory of New York lists "General Package Co. (N. Y.), (Harry B. Bradbury, Pres.; James H. Dunning, Sec. Capital, $300,000. Directors: James H. Dunning, H. D. Butts, Edwin W. Varney, Harry B. Bradbury) 97 Warren R. 102". There is no listing for Williams Wire-Hinging Machine Co. There is a "Dunning-Varney Co. (N. Y.) (James H. Dunning, Pres.; Edward B. Varney, Treas. Capital, $20,000. Directors: James H. & Carroll H. Dunning, Edward B. Varney) 99 Warren R. 102".
  • March 1908 Barrel and Box has an article on the new Williams wire-hinging machine from General Package Co.
  • 1909-02-15 The Lumber World.
    Arthur M. Wight, general General Package Company. 99 Warren street, New York, and formerly manager of the National Association of Box Manufacturers, with headquarters in the Tribune building, was in Chicago during the first week in February on business connected with his concern. Mr. Wight has recently returned from a prolonged trip to England and France, where he was successful in selling a good many of the new machines manufactured by the General Package Company for the construction of the wire hinge boxes. Mr. Wight says that in spite of the business depression of the last year, the company is doing a large business.
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  • March 1909 The Trow Copartnership and Corporation Directory of New York lists "General Package Co. (N. Y.), (Edward B. Varrney, Pres.; Edwin B. Strange, Sec. Capital, $350,000. Directors: Edward B. Varney, James H. Dunning, J. M. Steenberg, Edwin B. & Albert B. Strange, Jerome C. Read, Charles T. Williams, William McMurray, Arthur M. Wight) 97 Warren R. 93".
  • July 1909 Barrel and Box.
    A CorrectionBy mistake it was reported last month that the Bousfield Woodenware Company, of Minneapolis, Minn., would build an addition. Several stockholders of this concern are connected with the General Package Company, now building a plant at Aberdeen, Wash. The Bousfield Woodenware Company has reduced its capacity one-third, which the Aberdeen plant have taken on.
  • 1909 Great Britain Tenth Annual Report by the Board of Trade under Section 29 of the Companies (Winding-Up) Act, 1890 lists private companies registered during the calendar year 1909, including "General Package Company, Limited".
  • February 1910 Barrel and Box.

    An official of the General Package Company stated that all of the hinging machines of that company were now leased, but that a shipment of fifty were due within a few weeks or so. A machine has been set up in Vienna, the first one in the Austrian Empire, and has met with immediate favor. The General Package Company, Ltd., the English corporation controlling the devices of the American concern, has charge of the field there and in addition to the machine that has been set up in Vienna has plants located in a half dozen other Continental countries, and, of course, a large number in the United Kingdom, as mentioned in a previous issue of Barrel and Box.

    A new set of design of knocked-down fruit and vegetable crates have been put out by the package company, and are attracting considerable interest, particularly in the South. In this style of package the sides are made entirely of veneer material that has heretofore been waste material, and the crans can of consequence be placed on the market at a low figure. New designs are also in preparation of a low cost canners' crate.

  • March 1913 The Packages.
    In regard to the business of the General Package Co., Treasurer J. H. Dunning said: "We have just closed contracts with the equipment for making packages on an elaborate scale with two large concerns in the south."
  • March 1914 Trow New York Copartnership and Corporation Directory of New York lists "General Package Co. (N. Y.) (Edward B. Varney, Pres.; Edwin B. Strange, Sec.; James H. Dunning, Treas. Capital, $350,000. Directors: Edward B. Varney, james H. Dunning, J. M. Steenberg, Edwin B. & Albert B. Strange, William H. Potter, Charles T. Williams, Marshall P. Slade, Arthur M. Wight) 99 Warren R. 93".
  • 1915 Directory of Directors in the City of New York lists the following directors of General Package Co.: James H. Dunning, Albert B. Strange, Edwin B. Strange, Arthur M. Wight. Wight and Dunning were also directors of box manufacturer Dunning-Varney Co., and in addition Dunning was director of deckle-edging machine maker Dunning Brothers, Inc. Albert B. Strange was also director of Gold Car Heating & Lighting Co.
  • 1925 Hendrick's Commercial Register of the United States lists General Package Co., 53 Park pl., New York, as makers of boxing hinging machines.
  • A 1927 issue of Lumber Trade Journal.
    GENERAL PACKAGE COMPANY Aberdeen, Wash.—The General Package Manufacturing Company has increased its capital stock to $350,000. The concern is one of the largest manufacturers of wooden packages on the Pacific Coast.
  • 1957 Trademark registration, "General Package Co., The, Darien, Conn. 655,742-3, pub. 10-1-57. Cl. 19."
  • Charles Tudor Williams was vice president and general manager of the Cleveland Box Co., and was on the board of directors of the General Package Co. His surname and the name of the Williams Wire-Hinging Machine Co. proved to be a coincidence.