Bags serve a very practical function, and the more bags evolved, the greater the functionality. In 1852, school teacher Francis Wolle invented the first machine to mass produce paper bags; Wolle and his brother subsequently patented the device and founded the Union Paper Bag Company.
In 1871, Margaret E. Knight designed a machine that took bags beyond the envelope style and made them flat-bottomed, allowing more to be carried. Twelve years later, Charles Stilwell patented a machine that made the square-bottom paper bag known as the "Self-Opening Sack." In 1912, Walter Deubener added handles. A few short years later, the style became the standard for department stores, and bags were regularly printed with a shop's logo, brand colors or other identifying graphic details.
Bags come in all sizes and proportions and have proven to be an effectives means of advertising. As such, there is a level of collectability to those made during the far and new past.