Burt Rigid Box, Inc. was founded in 1886 in Buffalo, New York as the F.N. Burt Company. Under the direction of founder Frederick Northrup Burt, the company began as a printing house, quickly diversified into drugstore pillboxes and then, with the help of 1,500 employees, grew to make nearly all of the nation's cigarette boxes.
The company broke important social ground as well: when Fred Burt sold Burt to the Moore Corporation in 1906, his secretary Mary R. Cass was appointed General Manager, making her one of the first women to run a large US corporation. She remained one of the country’s leading executive for over 30 years.
In the 1930’s, Burt engineered and patented equipment to make convoluted round and oval boxes. During World War II, Burt manufactured paper lipstick cases, shell cartridges, and packaging for the U.S. Medical Corps, replacing objects formerly made of metal so that it could be conserved for the war effort. The company invested in a new, state-of-the-art 488,000 square foot plant in Buffalo in 1955, then expanded again in 1974, building a facility in Oneonta, NY dedicated exclusively to rigid box production. During this period, Burt employees were instrumental in pioneering the process of UV print as well as many other folding carton innovations.
In 1983, C. Taylor Kew & W. Russell Hurd, two Buffalo-area businessmen with a background in operations consulting, bought F.N. Burt from the Moore Corp and took it private, renewing Burt's tradition of entrepreneurial spirit. In the 1990’s, Burt became the first American company to own and operate Emmeci-made machines, now the industry standard for rigid box manufacturing. After the folding carton division was sold in 1997, the company adopted its new name: Burt Rigid Box, Inc. Today, Russ’s daughter leads the company as rigid box production continues to flourish in Oneonta, N.Y. and in partner factories abroad.