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Sterling's Menasha, Wis. Directory, 1920-21

Menasha,   pp. 37-38 PDF (609.7 KB)

Page 37

    Menasha-(an Indian word meaning "thorn" or "island"),
city of Winnebago county, Wisconsin, U. S. A., 88 miles north of
Milwaukee and 14 miles north of Oshkosh, situated on the extreme
northern extremity of Lake Winnebago, at its outlet into the Fox
river. Menasha is served by the Minneapolis, St. Paul and Sault Ste.
Marie, the Chicago and Northwestern, the Chicago, Milwaukee and
St. Paul and the Wisconsin and Northern Railways, and by an inter-
urban electric railway system. Doty Isl├Żnd, at the mouth of the
Fox river, is a popular and picturesque summer resort. Menasha
has excellent water power which is utilized in the manufacture of
paper and sulphite pulp, lumber, woodenware and cooperage prod-
ucts, woolen and knit goods, leather, boats, bricks, pulleys, trucks,
tractors, paper cartons, paper specialties and machinery. The first
white man to visit the site of Menasha was probably Jean Nicolet,
who seems to have come in the winter of 1634-1635 and to have
found here villages of Fox and Winnebago Indians. Subsequently
there were French and English trading posts here. The city was
settled permanently in 1848, and was chartered in 1847.
   A rapidry growing industry of Menasha represents an important
step in the evolution of the wood-using industries of the Fox River
Valley. Wood is the raw material for the paper mills, and paper
is the raw material for such plants as the Menasha Printing and
Carton Company; its specialty is the printing of great quantities of
soap wrappers, gum wrappers, and bread wrappers and the manu-
facture of practically 90% of the ic6 cream and butter cartons used
in the United States. A half million and a million soap wrappers
a day and single orders for billions of wrappers are indicative of the
output of this one plant. The operation of a paper mill by this
company illustrates a principle of expansion of an industry, namely,
the advantage gained by controlling its own supply of raw material.
   The largest manufacturing concern in the Fox River Valley is
the Menasha Wooden Ware Company, whose buildings, yards, side-
tracks, etc., cover 65 acres bordering the Fox river. It uses over
fifty buildings besides the drying houses. The industry began prac-
tically with the founding of Menasha and has grown to be the
largest wooden ware plant in the world. The founder of the com-
pany (Mr. E. D. Smith) commenced with a single lathe, made his
own tubs and pails and peddled them with a one-horse wagon. Now
the plant uses yearly six thousand cars of material, including 300
to 400 cars of wire and hoop iron; 75 per cent of the wood used is
basswood cut from the company's own tract of 125,000 acres in
Northern Wisconsin. All of the logs are now received by rail. The
following partial list of items indicates the magnitude of the opera-
tions. Its shipments aggregate a train load a week. The plant uses
25,000,000 feet of timber annually. Each year it makes:
   Enough candy pails to hold 120,000,000 lbs. of candy.
   Enough fish pails to hold 12,000,000 lbs. of fish.
   Enough pickle kits to hold 1,800,000 gallons of pickles.
   Enough tierces to hold 50,000,000 lbs. of lard.
   Enough lard half barrels to hold 30,000,000 lbs. of lard.
   Enough lard pails to hold 60,000,000 lbs. of lard.

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