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Dicke, Robert J. (ed.) / Transactions of the Wisconsin Academy of Sciences, Arts and Letters
volume XLIV (1955)

Ihde, Aaron J.; Conners, James W.
Chemical industry in early Wisconsin,   pp. 5-20 PDF (5.8 MB)

Page 13

 1955] Ihde & Conners—Chemical Industry in Wisconsin 13 
Zohrlant Leather Company dated from 1857. Trostel and Gallun was started
a year later.13 
 Besides these Milwaukee companies, there were tanneries scattered around
the state. Manitowoc and Fond du Lac were natural tanning centers due to
their proximity to the hemlock forests. The census reports of 1880 indicated
73 producers of tanned leather in the state.'4 All of these establishments
were founded mainly because of the availability of tanning materials. By
the time the hemlock bark was exhausted they were well established in a center
where hides were easily available. Improvements in transportation no longer
made proximity to tanbark as crucial as had been the case at midcentury.
 The first Wisconsin paper was manufactured in Milwaukee by Ludington and
Garand in 1848. Within the next two decades paper was also being produced
in Appleton (1853), Waterford (1853), Beloit (1855), Whitewater (1857), and
Neenah (1865). These mills were not engaging in chemical operations, however.
Their source of cellulose was rags (straw in the first Beloit and Whitewater
mills) and the process used was like that used by other American manufacturers.
The demand for paper was growing and the supply of rags was short so an active
exploration for substitutes was in progress. 
 Wood was an obvious source of cellulose but practical success in the conversion
of wood into paper was not achieved until 1840 when Friedrich Gottlob Keller
and Henry Voelter, in Germany, developed a successful woodgrinder. Wood was
reduced to a pulp by forcing it against a grindstone cooled with water. The
process, successfully operated in Europe from 1854, was introduced into the
United States in 1867. In 1872, Colonel Henry A. Frambach introduced it into
Wisconsin when he built the Eagle Mill on the Fox River at Kaukauna.15 
 Groundwood pulp did not supplant rag pulp but was added to it as an extender.
It did make available a larger paper supply at a time when demands were steadily
increasing. The best grades of paper continued to be made of pure rag pulp.
 In spite of the popularity of rag paper, the availability of pulpwood in
Wisconsin stimulated the growth of the groundwood 
 18Ref 3, p. 1438. 
 14 "Rept. on the Statistics of Manufactures of the U. S.", 1880, P. 191.
 ' ~ Brice, C. W. in ref. 10, p. 128. Also see L. H. Weeks, "A History of
Paper Manufacturing in the United States, 1690—1916", Lockwood Trade
Journal Co., New York, 1916, p. 234, and Francis F. Bowman, Jr., "Ninety-two
Years of Industrial Progress", 1940, p. 10. This booklet under the cover
title of "Paper in WisconsIn", was distributed by the Marathon Paper Mills
Co., Menasha, Wisconsin. 

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