In 1870, a small machine shop located in Green Bay, Wisconsin began manufacturing parts for sawmills and repairing steamboats. David Hudson and Alexander Sharp purchased the shop in 1910 and named the business The Hudson-Sharp Machine Company. Hudson-Sharp expanded and began manufacturing paper mill equipment (including the first napkin folder in the U.S.) and printing presses.
In the early 1940’s, the general manager of the Hudson-Sharp business, Sam Campbell was called to serve in the United States military in World War II. During his absence the business was converted to manufacture parts for the war effort. While Campbell was deployed in Europe he was introduced to wrapped food products. After the war’s conclusion and his return to Hudson-Sharp he was determined to develop a machine to automate the packaging of food items.
Campbell and a team of engineers invented the horizontal flow wrapper and a patent application was filed in 1946. The patent was granted shortly thereafter for the machine design. The original horizontal flow wrapper in the U.S., the "Campbell Wrapper," was introduced into the market and was quickly adopted throughout the world for the wrapping of candy, chocolates, crackers, cheese, baked goods, and various other products. The early flow wrapping packaging materials were paper, glassine and cellophane.
In 1947 Sam Campbell and a few close associates purchased the company. Under his ownership Sam continued to develop flow wrappers for vacuum packaging cheeses, meats and other products and received numerous patents for various other styles of horizontal flow wrappers.
FMC Corporation acquired Hudson-Sharp in 1956. FMC's Packaging Systems Division continued to develop the flow wrapper product line with the introduction of inverted, dual lane, shrink and polyethylene wrappers in addition to related product feeding and handling equipment. During the 1960’s wrapping materials evolved with polypropylene replacing cellophane as the most widely used packaging material due to its lower cost, longer shelf life and lower melting point.
In 1994, FMC sold the flow wrapper product line to SASIB. SASIB owned the business through 2000.
In January 2001, John Dykema, who had purchased Circle Packaging Machinery, Inc. (manufacturer of 4-sided seal packaging equipment) in 1998 from SASIB, established Campbell Wrapper Corporation to acquire the flow wrapper product line and other affiliated businesses from SASIB.
The business embarked on upgrading the drive and control technology of the equipment. Additionally, the sanitary and hygienic design of the equipment was significantly improved to ensure food and medical/pharma product integrity and to aid in reducing changeover and the overall cleaning time of the machines.
The Campbell flow wrapper business has an impressive reputation for building custom high quality, rugged, and dependable packaging equipment and providing exceptional spare parts and service support for the life of the equipment. Campbell Wrapper Corporation continues to design and develop new products with that mind-set and integrates the latest electronic control technology available. Campbell also continues to develop machines to run recyclable content, paper, and other sustainable film structures. The organization is staffed with experienced personnel, many with continuous service dating back to the FMC era.
In 2021 Campbell completed a 35,000 square foot addition to the manufacturing facility, bringing the total space to over 95,000 square feet. In 2023 Campbell completed renovation of the office, R&D and demonstration areas of the facility. The business is located in in the upper Midwest region of the U.S. in De Pere, Wisconsin, a suburb of Green Bay.