Someone is getting more gifts than I am …
Estimates are that enough gift wrapping paper is used annually to circumvent the earth 9 times. Apparently that much paper costs $2.6 billion.
But, how did the practice of wrapping gifts begin? Was it aristocrats from the Victorian age? Or wealthy robber baron’s wives in the late U.S. 19th century?
Actually, ancient Japenese, Korean, and Chinese cultures all wrapped gifts in reusable cloths. The use of paper for gift wrapping probably began around 200 B.C. with the Chinese after they began replacing papyrus with paper made from hemp.
“Not wanting to be hampered by their success, but needing a replacement for the sold-out paper, they found among their supplies a stack of “fancy French paper”—paper meant not for display, but for lining envelopes. Figuring, “hey, why not,” they put that paper in a showcase, setting its price at $0.10 a sheet. ”
The Atlantic | Wrappers Delight: A Brief History of Wrapping Paper, by Meg Garber
The two brothers quoted here ran a store in Kansas City. Their last name was Hall.