Mr. Judson Moss Bemis founded the Bemis Company in St. Louis, Missouri, in 1858, three years before the Civil War began. From its humble beginnings with two sewing machines and one printing press, the company has grown into a global supplier of flexible packaging and pressure sensitive label materials.
Now headquartered in Neenah, Wisconsin, Bemis Company has been a leader in innovation throughout its history. The company’s original product was the first commercially sewn, color-printed textile bag for the milling industry. By the 1900s, Bemis operated a total of eight textile bag factories as well as two cotton mills, and was the world's largest importer of burlap from India.
The company expanded and established bag factories throughout the 20th century. While textiles still were the dominant packaging material, Bemis started producing paper bag packaging. Bemis established its first paper packaging machinery operation in the 1940s and soon became a major supplier in that industry.
In 1949, Bemis began manufacturing bags and packaging materials from a relatively new material called polyethylene, first in Minneapolis, and then in other locations. The polyethylene plant in Terre Haute, Indiana, began operation in 1956, and today is the largest operation of its kind anywhere in America.
In 1966, Bemis Company was traded for the first time on the New York Stock Exchange (BMS). In the late 1970s the company embarked on restructuring and growth from within. Since the early 1980s, Bemis has undertaken significant capital spending in product development and new technologies to meet the specific needs of the marketplace.
Bemis packaging plants now utilize world-class technologies and advanced methods of operation. The company serves customers worldwide and produces packaging for products found in virtually every aisle of the grocery store.