The manufacture of wrappers for the sending of newspapers or periodicals began in the U.S. in 1861. The first wrappers were rectangular pieces of paper with gum to seal it on one end and an embossed envelope stamp or indicium on it. By 1870, the form was that of a rectangle with the narrow side rounded and gummed at the top. They were manufactured from piles of 300 – 500 sheets of paper which were then cut to shape by a . After around 1900, they were cut individually from long ribbons of paper which had been printed with an embossed envelope die.
In the US, they were removed from the items for sale in 1934, though remainders were sold for several years after that. By 1940 most countries had discontinued their production due to declining demand. Because the recipient of a wrapped newspaper often tore it open and threw it away, untorn used wrappers, preferred by collectors, are scarce. Scarcer yet are wrappers with the original newspaper contents. Because of their larger size, even mint copies are often sold folded or creased which is also less desirable to collectors.