Egg Carton

This article was originally written and submitted as part of a Canada 150 Project, the Innovation Storybook, to crowdsource stories of Canadian innovation with partners across Canada. The content has since been migrated to Ingenium’s Channel, a digital hub featuring curated content related to science, technology and innovation.

Egg Carton - safakcakir/

The dimple that settled a fight.

Who says nothing positive ever comes from fighting? In 1911, Joseph Coyle happened upon a heated argument between a deliveryman and a hotelier in his hometown of Smithers, British Columbia. The hotel owner was upset because the eggs shipped from a local farm often arrived cracked or broken. While a newspaper publisher by profession, Joseph was a designer by inclination. The overheard argument inspired him to create the egg carton. The secret of its success is its hard dimples, which protect the carton’s delicate contents from the stresses of transport and storage. Hundreds of millions of egg car-tons—not much different from Joseph’s original creation—have been manufactured and used since. That’s a lot of fights that have gone un-fought.

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