Some books about paper. 

Practical Paper-Making by Clapperton, 1894. Cloth hardcover in great shape for an old book. The front flyleaf seems to have become stuck down to the pastedown, and I didn’t try to lift it. Loose tipped-in frontispiece, glue seems failing on the spine so signatures aren’t tightly bound with adhesive although sewing seems good. Read about how they used to make the good paper you can’t find in books anymore, as well as the bad paper. Intended for the commercial paper maker, but the artisan maker will learn neat tricks like keeping the dandy free of bells when making laid papers at a quick speed, how to coat one’s chest with cement, and how to properly work the soft greasy stuff. I fear I am being frivolous about what is clearly a valuable reference volume for understanding the nature of the vintage paper one encounters in the course of restoring, or reading, old books and works on paper. Paper rules!


The Rittenhouse Mill and the Beginnings of Papermaking in America by Green, 1990. Single section paper covered pamphlet. The first paper mill in British North America was built in 1691 by William Rittenhouse and William Bradford and the Rittenhouse family paper makers were the only paper makers in America for decades. The site of this mill is now a park, and its history is very well documented, unlike much of the early printing history of this country. Sadly, when the Rittenhouse family donated this historic property to the local Park Commision, the Commision preserved some of the old houses in the town but tore down the mills. Today only traces remain of these historic mills, but in this book you can read about the mill and the techniques and see the last known photo. Very interesting little book.


the Story of Papermaking An Account of Paper-Making from Its Earliest Known Record Down to The Present Time,  J.W.Butler Paper Company, 1901. Cloth hardcover, paper is clean and lovely. I like the photograph of the women in long dresses and bonnets sorting and shredding barrels of fabric – it must have been cold in the room. No, it turns out that the process was considered to be “the most disagreeable and unwholesome of any in the entire process … Filth, dust and dirt … The women must wear bonnets or hoods for the protection of the hair.” Beautifully laid out with wide margins matching the center gutter.  The front pastedowns is inscribed “Please return to Strathmore Paper Company, Mittineague, Mass.” Don’t do it.

The Complete Book Of Hand Crafted Paper, Kern, 1980. Hardcover with dust jacket. Starts with an overview of past and present paper knowledge and then teaches you to make paper in the kitchen. Simple tools, instructions for making various types of moulds, sources for materials, decorating techniques…a wide ranging book and a great way to jump into the Papermaking vat, er, pool.

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