1942

The government puts a freeze on the supply of Sitka spruce to assure its availability for military gliders and ship keels during the war. The freeze, along with the decline in demand for butter tubs, forces the company to close its butter tub business.

1942

The Ladysmith facility is destroyed by fire. The company acquires a furniture factory in Rockford, Ill., and transfers Ladysmith's production there.

1945

Menasha and four other box companies from the Neenah/Menasha, Wis. area jointly acquire John Strange Paper Company of Menasha, which operates a linerboard mill built in 1888.

1948

Menasha acquires a one-half interest in a plywood mill under construction at North Bend, Ore. It later purchases full ownership of the mill, which becomes a subsidiary, Menasha-Coos Head Plywood Corporation. The facility makes plywood for the home construction industry.

1952

The Rockford, Ill., furniture plant is converted to a corrugated box plant.

1953

The Charles R. Smith Foundation is founded by the Smith family. It later is renamed Menasha Corporation Foundation and is still in existence today making charitable contributions.

1954

Menasha acquires one of the top independent logging companies in the Coos Bay/North Bend region of Oregon, the Irwin and Lyons Lumber Company. The purchase includes more than 20,000 acres of Oregon timberland.

1955

Capitalizing on growth opportunities in the plastics industry, Menasha acquires 51 percent of the G.B. Lewis Company of Watertown, Wis., a manufacturer of plastic containers. G.B. Lewis becomes the platform for Menasha's early growth in plastics.

1955

Menasha builds a box plant in Anaheim, Calif. Despite capturing market share in the Los Angeles area, the facility is sold to Weyerhaeuser Company in 1981.

1955

A wood fiber plant is built in North Bend, Ore.

1956

The company acquires 12,000 acres of timberland in the Pacific Northwest owned by Al Pierce Lumber Company.

1956

Menasha acquires 1,600 acres in the Pacific Northwest from Ball Lumber Company.

1957

With demand dead, the company's involvement in the manufacturing of pails, tubs and other wooden packaging ends forever. The last pail is shipped.

1958

Menasha begins its first reforestation program in North Bend, Ore., at a time when many timber companies are not replanting the land they've harvested.

1961

Both Mowry Smith, Sr., president and CEO of the corporation, and Carlton Smith, president of the investment company, retire. Richard L. Johnson succeeds Mowry Smith, and Mowry Smith, Jr. succeeds Carlton Smith.

1961

A paper mill is built in North Bend, Ore., and eventually becomes one of the top performing mills in the world.

1962

Menasha Wooden Ware Corporation changes its name and becomes Menasha Corporation.

1962

Menasha acquires Triangle Container Company, a box plant in Chicago.

1962

Fire destroys the Menasha logging camp in Coos Bay, Ore.

1963

Menasha opens a corrugated box plant in Medina, Ohio.

1963

Menasha builds a wood fiber plant in Albany, Ore.

1964

A railroad employee, using an acetylene torch to repair the track on a wooden trestle next to Menasha's box plant, inadvertently sets fire to the trestle. The blaze is brought under control, but when the glowing embers are struck with a stiff breeze, the fire engulfs the building, destroying it.

1966

A new corrugated container plant is built in Neenah, Wis., replacing the burned plant. With the improved plant layout and equipment, operations become more efficient.

1966

In partnership with Green Bay Packaging, Inc., Menasha Corporation acquires Twin Cities Container Corporation of Coloma, Mich.

1967

A new corporate headquarters is built at the Neenah site, which still remains today. It replaces the aging structure on the Fox River that served as the company’s headquarters for 80 years.

1968

Menasha acquires Vanant Packaging Corporation, today called Menasha's Sus-Rap Division. The company produces protective packaging materials used to hold and protect products during transit.

1968

The corporation acquires a box plant in Tacoma, Wash.

1969

Menasha gains full ownership of the John Strange Paper Company, which is renamed the Menasha Paperboard Mill. The acquisition includes a John Strange subsidiary, Appleton Manufacturing Company, as well as Strange's majority interest in Wisconsin Container Corporation, which later becomes Menasha's Solid Fibre Division.

1969

A corrugated sheet plant in Medina, Ohio, is acquired.

1969

The Manchester, Iowa, plastics container plant of G.B. Lewis begins operations.

1969

A wood fiber plant is built in Grants Pass, Ore.

1970

A newly constructed box plant at Lakeville, Minn., begins operations.

1971

Menasha acquires an interest in Poly Hi Inc. of Fort Wayne, Ind. Poly Hi (today's Poly Hi Solidur business) processes and markets a new plastic that is ultra-high molecular weight (UHMW) polyethylene and is supplying UHMW sheet to Menasha's Appleton Manufacturing Division.

1972

The corporation acquires a box plant in Hartford, Wis., and calls it the Color Division. Producing corrugated containers, this division specializes in printing color and graphics on its boxes to make them stand out, display and sell products. This division is an early entree into Menasha's current Promotional Graphics businesses.

1972

The Monticello, Iowa, plastic container plant of G.B. Lewis Company, begins operations.

1973

Menasha Corporation opens a convoy pallet plant in Menasha, Wis., the only plant in the industry devoted exclusively to making plastic pallets. It is now part of the company's ORBIS Division.

1974

Menasha acquires Crown Corrugated Containers (a predecessor of today's Yukon Packaging plant) of Greensburg, Pa.

1974

A wood fiber plant is built in Centralia, Wash.

1975

The corporation acquires full ownership of G.B. Lewis Company and renames it the LEWISystems Division. The G.B. Lewis Company develops a custom molding business, which later becomes known as Menasha's Molded Products Division. This business makes golf cart hoods, basketball backboards and other fiberglass-reinforced components.

1977

Menasha acquires full ownership of its Poly Hi business.

1980

Menasha acquires Dare Pafco Products Company of Urbana, Ohio, part of today's ORBIS Corporation.

1981

Menasha exports timber to Asia, where demand is strong, while the U.S. timber business plunges due to inflation and high mortgage rates.

1981

Menasha sells its North Bend, Ore., paper mill to Weyerhaeuser Company.

1981

Richard L. Johnson retires as CEO. He is succeeded by Donald C. "Tad" Shepard Jr., great-grandson of Elisha Smith.

1981

Menasha acquires Scranton Plastics Laminating Corporation of Scranton, Pa. Scranton Plastics, which was a competitor of Menasha's Poly Hi division and produced UHMW, is now part of the Poly Hi Solidur Group.

1982

Menasha converts its fleet of trucks to an interstate common carrier, Menasha Transport, Inc., when it sees an opportunity for additional earnings and reduce the amount of empty time by transporting goods for other companies. The first trucks are painted green, gold and white to provide greater visibility and resemble the company's boxcars of the early 1900s.

1983

Menasha sells its Menasha Paperboard Mill to U.S. Paper Mills.

1984

A corrugated box plant is built in Olive Branch, Miss. and a wood fiber plant is built in Marysville, Wash.

1984

Traex Corporation of Dane, Wis., is acquired and becomes the Traex Division. A manufacturer of reusable plastic products for the food service industry, Traex offers Menasha another entree into the plastic industry. Products such as trays, napkin holders, salt and pepper shakers, and sugar dispensers are sold in the United States and abroad.

1985

Menasha's Poly Hi Division expands to Asia, forming a joint venture with Tsutsunaka Plastic Industry Company Ltd. in Japan.

1986

Menasha acquires Neenah Printing of Neenah, Wis., and its subsidiary, Oshkosh Printers, Inc. Menasha considers the acquisition another opportunity to diversify.

1986

Murfin Inc. of Columbus, Ohio, is acquired. Murfin is a printer of label and identity products.

1987

Menasha's Poly Hi Division expands to Europe with the startup of a plant in Scunthorpe, England.

1988

Menasha acquires the Thermotech Division of FL Industries. Founded in the late 1940s, Thermotech is a leader in the precision injection molding of thermoplastic and thermoset engineered resins.

1989

Colonial Container Company of Green Lake, Wis., is acquired. It produces corrugated boxes and is a part of today's Menasha Packaging.

1989

Menasha acquires Labelcraft Corporation, which becomes the Farmingdale, N.J., plant of Menasha's Promotional and Information Graphics Group.

1989

Walter H. Drew as elected President and CEO. Tad Shepard retires as President and CEO after 39 years of service to the company.

In 1852, company founder Elisha D. Smith bought a struggling wooden pail factory that opened in Menasha, Wis. just three years earlier. In the more than 160 years since then, our devoted employees have worked together to build one of the country’s oldest and most successful privately held family companies.

Take a virtual tour across a century and a half to discover what has grown from Menasha Corporation’s strong roots.