Making Paper from Rags, Holyoke, Mass.

Special Collections > Keystone Slides
tiff scanned file from original glass slide
Paper is made from many kinds of vegetable fibers. Wheat straw is used in making coarse strawboard. Rice straw is used largely in Japan for the making of paper, but the most of the cheaper grades of paper are made from wood pulp; that is, wood shredded into fine pieces. Our finest grade of paper commonly used is made of rags. This view shows you one of the processes of making paper from rags in one of the biggest paper mills in our country. You have all seen the ragman driving about gathering up sacks of cast-off clothing, or even picking up bits of cloth. These rags are bought by the pound by the pickers, and sold by them by the pound. They are shipped to the large rag paper mills, a large number of which, in this country are in Massachusetts and Connecticut. After the rags have been sorted, so as to grade them according to fineness of fiber, they are washed and cut into pieces. The view shows you great boxes of cut rags, just as they have come from the drums in which they have been washed. After many processes, including grindings and rollings, these rags turned into the fine linen paper that you use for stationery. The state of Massachusetts ranks second in the paper-making industry in this country. It easily leads all other states in the making of rag paper. This industry centers in the Connecticut and Berkshire Valleys. The city of Holyoke is easily the center of the paper-making industry in the United States. Every day some 300 tons of fine paper are produced in the mills. Notwithstanding this output, the United States imports a great deal of its paper of fine quality. Germany leads in the manufacture of rag paper. Keystone ID: 22068 Note: All titles, descriptions, and location coordinates are from the original Keystone Slide documentation as supplied by the Keystone View Company. No text has been edited or changed.
Copyright by the Keystone View Company. The original slides are housed in McConnell Library's Special Collections.