Packet Envelope Co.
Packet Envelope Co.
Posted by: jd ()
Date: January 08, 2014 10:55PM

My neighbor wants to know about a company called "Packet Envelope Company" (Could be spelled "Packett"). He said he had relatives who worked there and it had something to do with being an off-shoot of the Kool-Aid Company.

The way he heard it when he was a kid, Kool-Aid had 500 women (always) working in a factory somewhere near Municipal Airport (now MDW) and they hired someone who invented a machine that folded the envelopes and had an air jet blow the correct amount of powder into the newly formed envelope and seal it. The machine could fold and fill and seal over 500 envelopes in less than one hour.

After that machine was installed, and 2 or 3 others, that workforce was reduced from 500 "girls" to 30 machine operators. When he asked "what happened to all the "girls" that worked there?" he was told that they went back home and became mothers.

I can't find anything about it, and the Kool-Aid Wikipedia page is no help. I did find something in the Kool-Aid founder's biography that made some allusion to the MDW area plant and mechanization, but that is all.

Thanks in advance for any help anyone can supply.

Re: Packet Envelope Co.
Posted by: WayOutWardell ()
Date: January 09, 2014 01:29AM

I did some searching in Google Books and kept seeing the Kool-Aid name associated with the Perkins-SOS Company, at 7123 W. 65th Pl. A lot of the mentions are from packaging trade magazines from the early '60s, which also list Perkins-SOS as a division of General Mills. They also apparently had a research lab at 74th & Rockwell.

Re: Packet Envelope Co.
Posted by: b.a.hoarder ()
Date: January 09, 2014 01:58AM

Edwin Perkins was born in 1889 and just eleven years later the genesis for Kool-Aid came along. Family friends brought the Perkins some of the newly introduced Jell-O and young Edwin was intrigued with the "Six Delicious Flavors". Within a few years he had in fact developed a couple of his own products but the one that really took off was Kool-Aid. Production was started in his home state of Nebraska, but in 1931 was moved to the Clearing Industrial District where his original facility was expanded to a total of 66,000 sq.ft. In 1949 they moved to a building twice the size, employing 300 hourly workers and another 50 in the offices.
In 1937 Edwin started the Packit Envelope and Bag Company at another location to keep all production in house. At the age of 64 he exchanged ownership of Perkins Products as well as Packit to General Foods for 250,000 shares of stock. Kool-Aid was now united with Jell-O under the GF umbrella.

A number of years ago there was an article in the Chicago Tribune about K-A and I recalled that they had a Clearing plant so Googling "Kool-Aid, Clearing" led me to this website-

Go there for the full story.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 01/09/2014 02:07AM by b.a.hoarder.

Re: Packet Envelope Co.
Posted by: daveg ()
Date: January 09, 2014 05:41PM

Great article. Thanks for the link.

Re: Packet Envelope Co.
Posted by: jd ()
Date: January 10, 2014 05:01PM

W.O.W & b.a.h, thanks for the info! I'll tell my neighbor Thaht Adams County site was really interesting. I posted this thank you last night, but it got eaten. Here's try #2.

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