Winner:Walter H. Deubener

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Winning Nomination

In 1919, Walter Deubener became attracted to a young woman, Lydia, working at a convenience store on the corner of 7th St. and Cedar Ave. in St. Paul, now the site of the World Trade Center. Visiting her while she worked, he noticed many customers shopping with their own bags, often inadequate to carry home their purchases. So Walter designed a paper bag with two cords that looped underneath and on top, forming handles. He and Lydia made up prototypes that were enthusiastically received. In short order, he obtained a patent and contracted production with a factory in Ohio. The shopping bag with handles was born! In the 1930s he sold his company for several million dollars and in retirement he and Lydia built a large family lodge up north. After their deaths, it was donated to become Camp Courage. I submit this humble idea is used by more people daily than the Bundt pan, Post-it notes, or Scotch tape, and it began right here in St. Paul.
~Chuck Phenix, St. Paul, MN

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