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Our Top 12 Envelope, Paper & Packaging Facts!

How much do you know about envelopes, paper and packaging?

We’ll bet you didn’t know some of these!

Read on to discover some of our most unusual, intriguing and enlightening facts below…


        1. Did you know, the first diamond discovered in South Africa - the Eureka Diamond - was used as a toy by the boy who discovered it, given away for free by his mother, and sent by mail to a mineralogist in an ordinary paper envelope!
        2. The saying “push the envelope” doesn’t actually have any relation to the envelope as we know it, but means to go beyond current limits and exceed the boundaries. It was first used in 1978 and had its origins in aviation, coming from “flight envelope” which is a phrase used about a plane’s operational or performance boundaries.

          Paper Plane

        3. By driving just one less mile a day or turning your thermostat down but a mere two degrees, you could save as much energy as is used to make the packaging for an average household’s whole year’s supply of packaged goods.
        4. The English word ‘paper’ was first derived from the Egyptian ‘papyrus’, which was a material similar to thick paper that was used in ancient times as a writing surface, handmade from the wild Papyrus weed that grew on the banks of the River Nile.
        5. Manila envelopes get their name from the Manila hemp used to make them which comes from a species of banana from the Philippines.
        6. Actually, ‘paper money’, or notes, aren’t made from paper after all. UK banknotes are made of a mixture of cotton fibre and linen rag, whilst Euro notes are 100% cotton and US notes are 75% cotton and 25% linen.

Bank Notes

        1. Cardboard packaging is really old! The first shipping box made of cardboard was patented in 1903 which makes them over 100 years old, and cardboard itself was patented in 1856!
        2. One tree can make a lot of paper - about 80,500 sheets of paper can be produced from just 1 pine tree!
        3. There’s more to the stamp than you think. For example, did you know that in the Victorian Era, they were specially placed on the envelopes of love letters to serve as a coded message between young lovers whose parents censored their mail - an upside down stamp meant "I love you" and a diagonal stamp meant "I miss you"!
        4. It might be best not to try this out today though because, believe it or not, nowadays turning the stamp so the queen’s head upside down is consider to be an act of treason…

Postal Stamp

      1. The very first envelopes that were used date right back to somewhere between 3500 and 3200 B.C., and were clay covering which were moulded around coins, used by ancient people in the Middle East during business transactions.
      2. The simple trick to knowing which envelope size will fit your sheet of paper is to swap the A for a C – it’s as simple as that! For example, A6 paper fits a C6 envelope.