Encyclopedia ofChicago
Entries : Stone Container Corp.
Entries
S
Stone Container Corp.

 

 

 

Stone Container Corp.

After emigrating from Russia to the United States around 1888, Joseph H. Stone made his way to Chicago, where he worked as a cigar maker. By the late 1910s, Stone was a wholesaler of paper products. In 1926, Stone and his sons Norman and Marvin formed J. H. Stone & Sons, a small enterprise that sold paper and twine. The Stones' sales in 1927 amounted to about $70,000. During the late 1930s, the company built a large corrugated cardboard box factory at 42nd Place and Keeler Avenue in Chicago. In 1945, by which time the company owned another plant in Philadelphia, its name changed to Stone Container Corp. By the early 1960s, annual sales reached $50 million, and Stone Container had over 1,000 employees in the Chicago area and hundreds more nationwide. In the late 1970s, Roger W. Stone, a son of Marvin, took charge of the company, leading it through a period of great expansion. The new chief made Stone bigger by buying other paper companies, including Consolidated-Bathhurst of Canada, a newsprint maker acquired in 1989. Stone's annual sales rose from nearly $300 million in 1979 to about $6 billion in the mid-1990s, when it employed about 30,000 people around the world and ranked as the world's leading manufacturer of paper packaging. In 1998, Stone merged with the Jefferson Smurfit Corp., a smaller paper company based in St. Louis. The resulting entity was named Smurfit-Stone Container Corp., which at the end of the twentieth century grossed more than $7 billion in annual sales and employed about 1,200 people in the Chicago area, where it made its headquarters.