Random Facts: Envelopes

April 26th is World Stationery Day.

The phrase “push the envelope”, meaning to go beyond current limits of performance was first seen in 1978 and had its origins in aviation. It came from the phrase “flight envelope” for a plane’s operational or performance boundaries.

The oldest known envelope-like containers were hollow, clay spheres moulded around money in the Middle East to ensure safe transit around 3500 BC.

The Chinese invented paper envelopes in the second century BC.

In 1845, Edwin Hill and Warren De La Rue patented the first envelope-making machine. Before that, all envelopes were folded by hand.

The envelope with a window was invented by Americus F Callahan of Chicago in 1901.

Manila envelopes are named for the Manila hemp used to make them. Manila hemp came from a species of banana from the Philippines.