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The History of the Handle Bag

People have come to expect a grocery bag with a handle when they shop at Dean’s. It’s still special to get your groceries bagged and carried out for you, something the team at Dean’s still does every day. We thought it would be interesting to consider where the handle shopping bag came from. And guess what, it came right from St. Paul Minnesota!

In 1917, a St. Paul grocer named Walter Duebner was thinking about what he could do to help his customers buy more groceries. So, he invented the first shopping bag with handles. It was the handles that made the bag revolutionary. He said, “I noticed a customer’s purchases were limited by how much they could carry, not spend.” The looped handle bag was created, to increase the amount of groceries his customers could carry.

He patented the idea, and soon the handle bag became his primary business. He went into manufacturing, and created machines to produce the bags. By 1927, he was selling 10 million bags a year.

So, the next time you’re carrying your groceries into the house in a handle bag, smile and think of Walter from St. Paul, who invented a terrific addition to our shopping experience!

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