Container Corporation of America (CCA) was founded in 1926 and manufactures corrugated boxes. In 1968 CCA merged with Montgomery Ward & Company, Inc. MARCOR maintained separate management for the operations of each company, but had a joint board of directors. In 1986, Mobil Corporation, which had bought MARCOR in the early 1970s, sold the CCA company to the Jefferson Smurfit Corporation, which merged with the Stone Container Corporation in 1998 to become part of the Smurfit-Stone Container Corporation. CCA is a wholly owned subsidiary of the Smurfit-Stone Container Corporation.
Under the leadership of Walter Paepcke, CCA was a patron of graphic arts and design. The company amassed a collection of art works which eventually found their way to the National Museum of American Art.
In the late 1940s, CCA commissioned Herbert Bayer to create a World Geo-Graphic Atlas which was distributed free to more than 150 colleges and universities. A review described it as the "handsomest and best atlas ever published in America".
It was the most expensive atlas yet published. The single edition of 30,000 copies reportedly cost Paepcke more than 500,000 USD and like all CCA publications it wasn’t for sale, but was a gift to CCA’s customers. Paeckpe even declined offers from commercial publishers for trade editions.
To suggest that the Altas was well-received was something of an understatement. The Geographical Review stated that “it is probably the first ‘American’ atlas that properly belongs in the category of great world aliases,” and the designer Geoff Conklin said its maps surpassed “any ever shown in an American atlas to a degree which is almost embarrassing; they are masterworks of the cartographer’s art.”
Today, 60 years later there is still no other atlas so completely and relentlessly informative. Although much of the cartography is now dated, Bayers prescient narrative of humans and their environment is now perhaps more important than ever.