Dr. Ruben Rausing was the founder of Tetra Pak. He was born in Raus, near Helsingborg, Sweden. He graduated from the Stockholm School of Economics in 1918 at the end of World War I. By 1920, he had earned his Master of Science Degree from Columbia University, in New York.
Ruben Rausing showing a paper model of the Tetra Classic package design
During his studies in the USA, Ruben Rausing received his first exposure to “self-service” stores. He could see that this concept would be adopted in Europe, thus increasing the demand for pre-packaged goods. In 1929, the year of the Wall Street stock market crash that triggered the Great Depression, he and Erik Åkerlund founded Scandinavia’s first specialised factory for packaging in Sweden. The firm, Åkerlund & Rausing, was to become one of the largest packaging manufacturers in Europe, and it was within this company that the first steps in development of a carton for milk took place.
New companies often start up by marketing a technical invention. Tetra Pak founder Ruben Rausing started instead by studying the market to be able to map out what his future company should be able to do. Following which he researched the technical requirements.
In September 1952 the first Tetra Pak machine was delivered to Lundaortens Mejeriförening, (Lund Dairy Association). In November of the same year the dairy started to sell cream in one-decilitre tetrahedron formed packages.
Read the whole story in The history of and idea (pdf).
1952: the first Tetra Pak filling machine is delivered