The creation of the ultimate paper bag was an energized battle through the second half of the 19th century. The early 1870s saw a particular flurry in patents issued for techniques and machines for making square-bottomed bags that had greater capacity than triangular-bottomed bags and could stand on their own. These included patent number 116,842 to the prolific inventor Margaret Knight (1838-1914); several patents to Charles Annan, whom Knight successfully sued for patent interference; and number 123,811 issued to Luther Crowell for the bag on display here. Crowell’s bag was produced in 1875 by the Philadelphia firm Howlett, Onderdonk & Co., which displayed a great pyramid of them at the Centennial Exhibition the following year. It was Charles Stillwell who, in 1883, finally created the style of paper bag we most commonly see in grocery stores today.