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)
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. PULP AND PAPER 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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