It is hard to believe that the coated-paper boxes for takeout, which are so prevalent in the U.S., are non-existent in China. Back in 1894, these paper boxes were primarily used for containing shelled oysters that the American housewives bought for cooking at home because they are cheap and readily available. By the mid 1920’s, overfishing reduced the availability of oysters and the manufacturers of paper boxes faced overflowing supplies in their warehouses, but the problem was solved as the cheap and tasty Chinese takeout became popular. The Chinese émigrés who operated Chinese restaurants adapted the use of these paper boxes for their takeouts. In the U.S., these paper boxes eventually became synonymous with Chinese takeouts.