The Quarterly No. 70 - April 2009


Banknote Papermaking at Portal's Laverstoke Mill in 1854 - Alan Crocker and Geraint Franklin

An article describing a subject of continuing interest to paper historians - banknotes. Its basis is a survey of the extant buildings at Laverstoke, undertaken by English Heritage, on the back of which the basic history of the mill is described. A curious engraving published in the Illustrated London News of a bank-note production line is also included, which forms a sub-theme of the article. This illustration shows banknotes produced by hand being couched onto a moving conveyer - a curious amalgam of hand-manufacture and mechanisation.

12 pages, 10 illustrations


An Historic Model Papermaking Machine Restored: An Australian Industry's Icon - Harry Dagnall

The author has been researching the history of this miniature paper machine for several years. Made in 1884 or 1885 it was used for exhibitions until just after WWI when it was purchased by Isaac Boas and shipped to Australia. There it was used to make trial webs of paper based upon native hardwoods, until the 1930s. At some point it appears to have been left in a store room and forgotten, until the 1990s, when it was rediscovered, restored and preserved in a glass showcase. The article is accompanied by a host of illustrations showing the beautiful workmanship of this historic model paper machine.

5 pages, 13 illustrations (9 colour)


The 1807 Act - Richard L Hills

The 1807 Act in question extended the 1801 patent of John Gamble for Nicholas Louis Robert's papermaking machine. The article uses this as a basis for describing the early series of prototype machines that were put into production at Frogmore, St. Neots and Two Waters mills. It details the machine developments that took place over relatively few years that culminated in both the perfection of the papermaking machine, and bankruptcy of the Fourdrinier brothers.

8 pages, 6 illustrations


The First Paper-Maker - William Reinicke

It is said the use of wood by wasps for building nests gave the idea to several early scientists, most notably Reaumur, that wood could be a possible raw material from which to manufacture paper. This lovely article looks in greater detail at how different wasps utilise wood and shows how both nest design and the material properties of the 'paper' varies according to species.

3 pages


A Letter on the Collection of Rags for the Manufacture of Paper, Addressed to the Parochial Clergy, The Managers of Parochial Institutions, Etc - Richard Herring

A small piece of social history that still strikes a chord today - a letter from a London resident pleading for the installation of a coherent recycling scheme to save valuable raw material for the paper industry.

1 page


Transporting Esparto Grass from Granton Harbour in Scotland in the Early 1950s - Bryan Gourlay

It is easy to forget how large the Esparto trade was only a matter of decades ago. This short piece of local and social history describes the physical process of hauling esparto from the docks to local mills in Scotland. The hazards, and the precarious journey, are amply described and illustrated.

2 pages, 2 illustrations


Account of the Origin and Experiments of the Triple Paper Invented and Proposed for the New Bank Note by Sir William Congreve - Doug Stone and Cindy Bowden

By the late 18th century forgery of banknotes was a growing problem, so the Bank of England called for fresh ideas on how to produce notes that were more difficult to forge. Sir William Congreve produced a design based upon using white and coloured fibres and dipping the watermarked mould three times. This produced a banknote that looked very different from others when viewed either by transmitted or reflected light, as is shown by the remarkable set of colour images that illustrate the text. Although his design was not chosen for production, it remains an example of ingenuity, showing the range of effects possible from hand-made papers.

4 pages, 16 illustrations (all colour)


The First American Papermakers - Victor Wolfgang von Hagen

The title of this piece is somewhat of a misnomer, since the indigenous groups described, Aztecs and Mayans, did not make true paper. However they both made paper-like materials, called amatl and huun respectively. The article describes both materials, their mode of manufacture, and illustrates the text with images of these manufacturing processes still being performed in the 1940s.

3 pages, 6 illustrations


History of Paper Test Instrumentation Part 11: Fold Strength Testers - Daven Chamberlain

This is the third successive article in the series to describe strength test apparatus. Fold testers were also the third major branch of strength apparatus to be developed. Three main families of apparatus are outlined. Many of the instruments were popular in the inter-war period, but over the last few decades most have ceased to be used as the industry consolidated on a handful of designs.

7 pages, 4 montage illustrations


Poems from The Paper-Maker and British Paper Trade Journal - Anon

Five poems from the featured journal, dating from 1902-1914. No great literary style is evident, but the poems all deal with the pulp and paper industry, and each in its own way conveys something of historical and topical interest from this pre-war period.

3 pages


Book Reviews

Harnham Mill, Salisbury, by Michael Cowan.
An account of what is possibly the oldest paper mill in the country still standing today, which is used as both a hotel and restaurant.

"Chucking Buns Across the Fence" - Government Sponsored Industry in the Scottish Highland, 1945-1982, by Niall Mackenzie.
A PhD thesis dealing with four major industrial developments in the region, one of which was Wiggins Teape's Fort William paper mill.