The vertical form/fill/seal (VFFS) machine was patented in 1936 by Walter Zwoyer who had been an engineer with the Henry Heide Candy Company in New York City. Zwoyer formed the Transparent Wrap Machine Co. to build and sell Transwrap vffs machines. After WWII Stokes & Smith of Philadelphia also built vffs machines under license from TWMC.
In 1949 the first General machine was built at a Houston company for packaging peanuts for ball games.
The Zwoyer patent expired in 1954 and Zwoyer sold out to Package Machinery Co. General Packaging Equipment Co. was formed and the General machine was introduced at the 1954 Packaging Show at the Chicago Stockyard.
General introduced the first VFFS machine for snack foods which was widely used by the Frito Co. and other snack producers. General also developed the first VFFS machine to run polyethylene which was installed at Comet Rice Mill. Several hundred General machines were installed in the rice milling industry in the following decades.