Gift wrapping was
very popular in Britain. They used wallpaper to conceal the gift secured with
ribbons and lace. The upper class soon found it cumbersome and went to tissue
paper. However, it easily tore and broke revealing the gift. This was a
disaster because it revealed the gift allowing others to estimation the cost of
the present. So they moved to brown paper to hide their gifts from view.
The U.S. played one of the biggest roles in gift wrapping
the way we know it today. In 1917 Joyce
Clyde Hall and his brother, Rollie, invented modern gift wrap in their Kansas
City, Mo. store. They ran out of solid colored tissue gift wrap, during the
peak of the Christmas season. Desperate they began substituting the thicker
French envelope liner for wrapping presents. It sold so well they printed their
own. Then 20 years later, Scotch tape was invented, replacing twine, ribbon,
lace and string to secure gift wrap.