Monday, April 25, 2016

The Surprisingly Recent Invention of the Tea Bag

On August 26, 1901, two intrepid women filed a patent (US723287) for a rather unique (at the time) “Tea-Leaf Holder” that is remarkably similar to the modern tea bag.

Roberta C. Lawson and Mary Molaren of Milwaukee, Wisconsin had identified an issue with the way tea had been commonly brewed for thousands of years: making a whole pot of tea used too many tea-leaves which became stale if not used right away.

"So they invented an open-meshed woven cotton bag, “folded over upon itself and stitched along its side edges, forming a pocket-like construction having a flap at its open end… with the flap at the upper end folded down over the top end of the pocket and inclosed…”
However they were unsuccessful at bringing their product to market. Despite not inventing the product,Thomas Sullivan, a New York tea importer had more success.

 Read more here 

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