The Quarterly No. 7 - July 1993

Rags as Raw Materials for Papermaking, part 1 - Barry Watson

Prior to 1860 rag was the chief source of papermaking fibre. Despite the rapid substitution of wood for rags, to meet an ever increasing demand for paper that rags alone could not meet, there was still a sale for high quality rag content machine made papers in Britain until well into the nineteen sixties. Rags continued in use where durability, permanence, appearance and prestige were important factors in the choice of a particular paper. This article, originally written at Croxley Mill, Hertfordshire in 1948, describes the classification and characteristics of different types of rags as used within the British paper industry at that date, including jute, hemp and linen.

5 pages, illustrated

Archives of Paper History, Part 2: Hayle Mill - Simon Barcham Green

Hayle Mill has probably the best papermaking archives in Britain and, according to the Kent County Archivist, is probably one of the best business archives of any sort in the country. The collection of books, ledgers, correspondance, plans, maps, charts, paper samples and equipment dates back to the early nineteenth century and includes deeds relating to the period 1808-1918 in which the mill was built and came into the hands of the Green family. There are, however, relatively few items pre-dating 1838 when the mill went bankrupt, but after that the collection builds up rapidly.

4 pages, illustrated

Places to Visit: The Schoolmaster Mill - Richard Hills

Description of the last wind powered papermill in the world. This mill has survived in virtually original condition since its construction in 1692, and except for the introduction of an intermittent board machine in 1877, has not been adapted to make a museum. Everything still works and a miller is employed to run and demonstrate the mill every day, making pure rag paper.

2 pages, illustrated

British Paper Mills: Bere Mill, Hampshire - Peter Bower

A short history of this mill from when it was built in 1710 as a corn mill. It was turned over to papermaking in 1712 by Henry Portal and the mill has survived relatively unspoilt. Subsequent uses of the mill buildings are detailed and a list of publications giving further information is provided.

2 pages, illustrated


From J S G Simmons:

Congratulations of Quarterly No 6, and on giving publicity to Ed. Loebers great Nachlass.
I was sorry to see that you quote the 1907 Briquet and hope that when the occasion arises in future you will refer to the 1968 New Briquet Jubilee Edition which does have much corrective and additional material (including details of post 1907 albums of watermark reproductions up to 1600). This isn't a puff for it (it's long out of print, alas) just an expression that all the work that went into preparing the new edition won't be wasted.
I would also like to put in a plea for an annual list of paper history and watermark literature published in the UK to be published - perhaps in the first issue each year of the Quarterly. Any self respecting discipline must have a basic record and our subject particularly so, as publication is often scattered, privately printed, and in unsuspected places. But if you took this on and gave it advance publicity people would send offprints and information for inclusion in the record.

Book Reviews

Birkner Paper World 93/4: Directory of the International Paper Industry. Birkner & Co.
Kami '89. Cannabis Press.

James Watt and Papermaking - Richard Hills

A short article based on an extract from James Watt's journal of May - October 1770, in which he details a visit to a paper mill between Perth and Crieff. The machinery at the mill is described, but unfortunately the name of the owner is illegible, however, it still gives a valuable insight into an eighteenth century paper mill.

1 page, illustrated