The first tea bags were made from hand-sewn silk muslin bags and I have found tea bag patents of this sort dating as early as 1903. First appearing commercially around 1904, tea bags were successfully marketed by tea and coffee shop merchant Thomas Sullivan of New York, who shipped his tea bags around the world. A machine was soon invented to replace the hand sewing of tea bags.
Also in 1904, iced tea was first reported to be served by Englishmen Richard Blechynden at the St. Louis Fair, however, there is evidence that the beverage was invented prior to that date.
Thomas Lipton incorporated the Lipton Tea Company in 1915. Lipton Tea patented a novel four-sided tea bag in 1952 called the flo-thru tea bag.