A Michigan Man Invented Cardboard Pizza Delivery Boxes
As a kid, I remember going to pick up a pizza with my father. Our favorite pizza place back then was Pizza Queen on Stocking, right across from the Clique Bowling alley on the northwest side of Grand Rapids, MI.
When we went get the pizza, it was usually placed on a circular piece of cardboard, and then put in to a brown paper bag. By the time we arrived home, there was a good chance that the cheese or toppings had already started to stick to the bag.Aa
A Better Way to Pick Up and Deliver Pizza...
Once the pizza establishments started to offer pizza delivery, the whole process of just bagging a pizza really didn't work. There was really no way to stack the pizzas. It was time for someone to come up with a better way.
In the 1960s there were several inventors working on a better system, but Tom Monaghan is widely credited with coming up with the idea for the cardboard pizza box. You might remember that Tom was the owner of the Domino's pizza chain based in Michigan.
Over the years different companies have modified the basic design on the cardboard box, but the concept remains the same for the most part.
What about the Pizza Table?
For many years, not only would you find your hot pizza in the carboard box, but there would also be a little plastic piece, often called the "pizza table", the "pizza saver" or the "pizza ottoman". Some even referred to it as the "pizza nipple".
This little piece of plastic was placed in the center of the pizza to hold the center of the cardboard box off the pizza. With the warm, steamy pizza in the container, at times the cardboard would get limp and collapse down onto the top of the pizza. The pizza table prevented that from happening.
Little seems to be known about the inventor of the pizza table. Her name was Carmela Vitale and she was from Dix Hills, New York. I thank her for her invention and saving several of my pizzas from having soggy cardboard as an additional topping.
The next time you get a pizza delivered I think it would be appropriate for a salute to both Tom and Carmela! Cheers!!!