The Quarterly No 86 - April 2013


Watermarks and Countermarks Found on Returned Letter Wrappers of the British Post Office: Makers and Mills - Robert B Galland, Ken Snelson and Peter Bower

In the 18th and 19th century, undelivered letters were dealt with by the Dead Letter Offices in London, Edinburgh and Dublin. In order to return these letters to the sender they were sealed in a new wrapper and re-addressed. This article contains an assessment of the papers used to produce these wrappers. Forty papers are described, with either a watermark or countermark from each being reproduced, making this an exceptionally well-illustrated article.

10 pages, 48 illustrations and 1 table


Palm Paper: Investment in King's Lynn - Dr Wolfgang Palm

Dr Palm is head of the company that invested £400M to start a new paper mill in King's Lynn, Norfolk, in 2009. This short item is a verbatim transcription of a speech given by Dr Palm at a paper industry management event in 2012, and it contains hitherto unpublished information about the decision to site the mill in Norfolk, and of hostile attempts by a rival company to halt the development.

1 page


Scottish Papermakers and the First Fourdrinier Machines in America - Ewen Jardine

In 1827 two experienced Scottish papermakers decamped to America in order to start the first Fourdrinier machine in that continent. This article describes the background to their decision, and what happened to these early enterprises.

7.5 pages, 3 illustrations


Lost and Found: Part 3 - Langford Mill, Bedfordshire - Daven Chamberlain

A short article identifying the site of the only Bedfordshire paper mill, which was converted in to flats during the late 20th century.

0.5 pages, 1 illustration


Humour in the Paper Mill: Sandoz Cartoons Part 2

Two further cartoons from the illustrator E. Noak, produced for Sandoz Ltd in the 1950s. Both take as their subject manufacture of paper by hand.


Papyrus, Parchment and Paper. Part 3. Early Writing Materials in the West: Other Materials - Richard L Hills

Chapter three of this major new series, with describes early writing materials. This edition takes as its subject the manufacture and use of leather and parchment as carriers of written information.

4 pages, 1 illustration


Glossary of Paper Grades

A series of technical definitions of unusual paper grades given in The Stationers' Handbook of 1886.

1 page


Digital Printing - Processes, Papers and Problems - Daven Chamberlain

This article outlines the major commercialised digital printing processes, and describes some of the paper properties required for each to work. Although taking as its basis a conference presentation made in 2007, the article contains up to date information and includes the most recent digital process to be developed - Nanography - which was unveiled in 2012 and is due to achieve full commercial operation in 2014.

5 pages, 3 illustrations


Devon Valley Mill Diary - J Ewart

The author worked at Devon Valley paper mill during the interwar period, until after WWII had ended. The diary entries describe how the mill developed in the post-WWI period, the changes made in the interwar years, and the difficulties experienced operating the mill during WWII. Such detailed contemporary accounts are rare and give a vivid account of life in a small, specialist paper mill, during the first half of the twentieth century.

9 pages, 3 illustrations


Hand Finishing of Chinese Burning Paper - Photos: Neil Robertson, Text: Daven Chamberlain

Manufacture of ceremonial paper in China is far less common nowadays than it once was. The illustrations in this short piece show how such paper is cut and finished by hand. The photographs were taken during the last decade and illustrate contemporary equipment and techniques in one village in Guizhou province.

1.5 pages, 9 illustrations


The Story of a Bank-Note - Charles Dickens

Banknotes held a special fascination for Dickens, as can be seen from the number of articles we have reproduced in previous editions of the journal. This time, our guide describes their production at Laverstoke mill and subsequent printing.

4 pages