Paper plates were invented by Martin Keyes in the early 20th century. The inventor began to market his paper plate molding machine in 1903 after founding the Keyes Fibre Company. His first paper plate molding machine was capable of manufacturing 50,000 paper plates per day.
Martin Keyes invented the paper plate because he wanted to give utility to wood chips that previously went to waste. In the 1930s, his company, Keyes Fibre, introduced egg trays, light bulb containers and bottle packs to its line of products. As of 2014, it has grown into one of the largest manufacturers of molded fiber packaging. According to the Keyes Packaging Group website, the company was acquired by Arbor Investments in 2013.