How Paper is Made

Whiting Paper Co., Holyoke, MA

semination of news. It also greatly facilitates social intercourse.

Paper is a fabric that is composed of vegetable fibers minutely divided and reduced with water to a fine smooth pulp, and dried to form thin sheets. Hornets were the first paper-makers, and most people are familiar with the ingenious gray nests that these insects make and suspend under the eaves of buildings or from the branches of trees and bushes. Sometimes the nests are more than a foot in diameter.

Probably the earliest use of paper was for writing, and its earliest form the papyrus of the Egyptians. The papyrus was a natural paper made from the layers of membrane that underlie the outer skin of the tall slender papyrus plant, near its base. The Egyptians had found a way to make this kind of paper as long ago as 2000 B.C. In India and China the art was early discovered of writing with a sharp point on dried palm leaves and on certain kinds of bark. It is known that the Chinese were making paper from pulp, artificially prepared, at the beginning of the Christian era. The materials used by the Chinese in their paper-making were the bark of trees, the soft parts of bamboo stems, and cotton. The Arabians learned from the Chinese how to make paper of cotton, and they carried the knowledge to Spain. There the Moors not only made paper of cotton, but apparently also of hemp and flax. Presently paper was being made in France and Holland, and in 1490 its manufacture was begun in England. By that time it was customary to use linen rags for fine paper.

The manufacture of paper in America was not undertaken until 1690, when a mill was established at Germantown in what is now a part of Philadelphia. Several days were required for finishing a sheet of dry perfected paper in this mill, and a day's work for three men was four and

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