Print's past: Charles Henry Foyle

Caroline Archer
Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Charles Henry Foyle is one of the forgotten names of the printing industry, although his contribution to print and packaging was far-reaching and the company he founded is still in existence.

Charles Foyle was a member of the Foyle book-shop dynasty, putative inventor of the folding carton and founder of Boxfoldia [1920] Birmingham.

Foyle revolutionised packaging, enabling even the most humble of items to be wrapped in decorative cartons with each package becoming its own advertisement. For more than 80 years, Boxfoldia has provided carton solutions to packaging problems and is still one of the most famous names in the packaging business.

But Foyle didn’t just make boxes; he also published books and his output included the delightful Alice Through The Paper-Mill, [Birmingham: CH Foyle of Boxfoldia, 1940] an Alice In Wonderland-inspired satire on wartime paper control regulations illustrated by Arthur Wragg.

Caroline Archer is a writer and eminent print historian

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