Category Archives: Paper

Who needs paper?

Fred Tomaselli, Untitled, 2020. Paper collage, resin, paint. James Cohan Gallery

Will your library continue to purchase paper newspapers?

At a time when the home delivery of the paper New York Times is rising to nearly $200/year (depending on location and a variety of discounts) and a petition is being widely circulated to stop the freezing the largest historical paper collections in the world (webpage), we seem to be at a precipice in our need or appreciation for paper, in its many formats.

At the same time, those living in the New York area can pick up around two dozen free paper newspapers focused on neighborhoods and/or social groups (is anyone collecting them?) And the most interesting art exhibition of the weekend involves the intersection of newspaper text (specifically from the New York Times) and painting. Three of the eight works by Fred Tomaselli (born 1956) shown at James Cohan’s Gallery are pictured here digitally, better seen in the original.

These are disparate topics, that do seem to relate.


Fred Tomaselli, Untitled, 2020. Paper collage, resin, paint. James Cohan Gallery

Fred Tomaselli Opening October 23 from James Cohan Gallery on Vimeo.

Fred Tomaselli, Untitled, 2020. Paper collage, resin, paint. James Cohan Gallery

“In early 2020, the management of the Koninklijke Bibliotheek (Den Haag) made the decision that its famous paper historical collection will no longer be a “core domain” and thus be terminated in terms of curatorship. Starting in January 2021 the second largest paper collection in the world will be without an active curatorship and without further collection development, i.e. no more acquisitions of relevant objects and specialist literature. While the collection will be stored and available, ongoing and future research will be frozen.”

Perhaps this is one of many collections that no longer have the benefit of curatorial control, perhaps that is another issue. It does seem to be a moment when we are re-evaluating the importance of paper within special collections and in our lives.

Detail, Untitled, 2020.

Samples of the Peter Adams Company’s American Art Papers

Peter Adams Company, Samples of the Peter Adams Company’s American Art Papers made at the company’s Waverly Mills at Buckland, Conn. New York, 1893. Graphic Arts Collection GAX 2020- in process

“The Waverly Mills were established by Peter Adams, at the village of Buckland, near the city of Hartford, Connecticut, U.S.A., in the year 1861,” wrote Henry H. Bowman in this 1893 paper sample book for the Mill, although other sources indicate Adams purchased the mill in 1863. The book continues:

“…Mr. Adams was born in Scotland, and there learned thoroughly, in all its branches, the business of paper making. His father died when he was very young. His parents were in very moderate circumstances, and the spirit of self-reliance and the restless energy that throughout his career overcame all obstacles to success, were manifested by him then, when, at the tender age of eight years, he commenced the work of making himself an adept in the art of paper making.

To this work he applied himself steadily until he became an expert paper maker in all the branches of the art. At the age of twenty-one years he came to America. He and three other young Scotchmen set up and operated, at Saugerties, N.Y., the first fourdrinier paper machine that was operated in America. He soon became superintendent of a paper mill, and thereafter his services were in constant requisition in that capacity until he entered int the business of paper making on his own.”


By 1884, Peter Adams (1807-1889) was known as one of the oldest and most successful paper manufacturers in the United States.


Note the specificity of this sample book: plate papers (8); chromolithographic plate papers (10) chart papers (2); map papers (6) and book papers (14). It is rare the printer of a chromolithograph, or other printed material, should credit the type of paper on which it’s printed for its quality but here the paper is shown with an actual chromolithograph, suggesting just that.






The importance of the Adams firm is demonstrated by their New York City offices, housed at 38 Park Row, in the eleven-story Potter Building commissioned by Orlando B. Potter and constructed in 1883-86 to replace Potter’s World Building, destroyed by fire in January 1882.

King’s Handbook mentions that there were two hundred offices in the Potter Building, “including those of several newspaper and periodical publishers, insurance and other companies, lawyers and professional men.” Among its newspaper tenants were the editorial and business offices of The Press, a popular penny newspaper founded in 1887 with ties to the Republican party, and the New York-Observer, the oldest American religious newspaper, started in 1823 and previously located in the World Building until the fire.

Other tenants included Peter Adams Co. and Adams & Bishop Co., manufacturers of fine papers for printing, maps, photography, etc.; the Mutual Reserve Fund Life Association, established in 1881 and the then largest assessment insurance firm in the world; the business offices of Otis Brothers & Co., manufacturers of elevators since 1855 and the leading maker of passenger elevators; the New York Architectural Terra Cotta Co. offices; and O.B. Potter himself, on the top floor.

The mill is now a restaurant, located along a popular hiking trail:

Adler’s paper sample resources

Recently two paper sample cabinets owned by Elmer Adler (1884-1962) came back from off-site storage to our vaults, including this one housing sample books from the Alling & Cory Company.

“Alling and Cory was a privately owned printing paper and packaging distributor headquartered in Rochester, New York, [Adler’s hometown]. Founded by Elihu F. Marshall in 1819, the company was the first paper merchant in the U.S. The company remained independent until 1996 when it was bought by Union Camp. Assumed to be among its employees were two United States Presidents and other United States statesmen.

At its height, Alling and Cory owned more than 20 branch offices from Toledo, Ohio to New York City. At one point, it was the United States’ oldest privately owned company in continuous operation. In 1910-1911, they built the Alling & Cory Buffalo Warehouse and in 2010, it was listed on the National Register of Historic Places.”

See The New York Times article: “Alling & Cory Sold for $88 Million to Union Camp” from Dow Jones, April 16, 1996.

A second cabinet holds this wonderful color sample brochure. Here is a small part of the business history posted by the Beckett Paper Company:

With sales of less than $100 million, Beckett Papers is a rather small, yet distinctive, segment of the Fine Papers Division of Hammermill Paper Co., itself a subsidiary of $20 billion International Paper Co. Nevertheless, Beckett enjoys a long and distinguished heritage in the paper industry, stretching back 50 years earlier, in fact, than that of International Paper. Established in 1848, Beckett was controlled and managed by descendants of founder William Beckett until 1959, when it became a subsidiary of Hammermill Paper Co. Hammermill was in turn acquired by International Paper in 1984.

A well-established brand presence in the fine papers, stationery, and uncoated recycled stock segments enabled Beckett to retain its own identity and logo through the mid-1990s. But while its goods continued to be milled at the company’s birthplace in Hamilton County, Ohio, its headquarters was moved to East Granby, New Jersey, along with the rest of International Papers’ Fine Papers Group.

Beckett Papers was founded and eventually named for William Beckett. Born in 1821 and educated at southern Ohio’s Miami University, Beckett, along with a couple of partners, bought into an abandoned paper mill in the town of Hamilton in 1848. At first, the mill churned out newsprint made of rags for sale to newspaper publishers in nearby Cincinnati. Though the mill struggled to stay in the black during its first two years, efficiencies achieved through the addition of a second paper making machine led to a decade-long period of profitability. The Civil War helped to lengthen this prosperous period, as newspaper sales skyrocketed, fueled by public hunger for news from the battlefields. These high times subsided during the late 19th century, when panics and recessions hurt the company’s results.

Partners came and went over the course of the company’s first four decades in operation, and the business endured several name changes before its incorporation as The Beckett Paper Company in 1887. By this time Thomas Beckett, son of the founder, had joined the company. The second-generation leader brought new production methods to the company, including modern paper making machines that used wood pulp. Though his changes were vehemently resisted by some managers, modernizations kept the company’s costs competitive and eventually brought it out of the red. Thomas launched the Buckeye Cover brand of colored paper in 1894, a stock that soon gained a reputation for high quality. The buckeye, Ohio’s state tree, would serve as Beckett’s corporate logo for some 100 years, until the launch of a new logo in mid-1998.

Read more:



These resources were originally moved from Elmer Adler’s office in The New York Times annex to Princeton in 1940, when he established a graphic arts program at the university. Special thanks go to my colleagues Jen Meyer and Mike Siravo, who arranged the moving and new storage for these important resources back into the department.

Scott Printing Machine Works, Plainfield, New Jersey

525 South Avenue, Plainfield, New Jersey, in 2020.


Scott Printing Press Co.’s Works, Plainfield, N.J., Industrial Area, side view of the factory along with the water tank. Plainfield Public Library.

In 1884, Walter Scott (1844-1907) moved his printing press manufacturing business from Chicago to Plainfield, New Jersey, taking over the lot previously used by New Jersey’s Central Baseball Club. By 1903, Walter Scott & Company covered five acres of downtown Plainfield. “The buildings are of brick, contain a floor space of upwards of 115,000 square feet and are connected with each other by a narrow-gauge railroad, 2,300 feet in length, which runs through the buildings.” —Newspaperdom 10 (January 1, 1903).

Scott operated the largest printing press manufacturing firm in the United States (claimed to be the largest in the world), known especially for high-speed presses and folding machines used by newspapers. In 1893, the New York World installed the first color press in America adapted to newspaper printing, which was built by Scott’s Company in Plainfield. Known as a brilliant inventor, he received his first patent in 1874 and by 1903, held 200 patents. When he died 1907, his widow, Isabella Scott, operated the business until her death in 1931.

Google maps overview of the factory buildings still standing in 2020. The New Jersey Transit Raritan line still runs along the rear of the buildings.


Advertisements: The Inland printer. v.3 (1885/86) and American Printer and Lithographer 31 (1900).


A biographical sketch of Scott was published in The Inland Printer that begins “It is with pleasure that we are enabled to place before our readers the portrait of a gentleman whose name is familiar to every printer in the United States, Mr. Walter Scott. Blessed with great genius, tireless energy, indomitable perseverance, and administrative ability, he has succeeded in building up what is now the largest and most progressive printing press manufacturing establishment in the world.” It continues:

“Mr. Scott was born in Scotland on May 22, 1844. He was educated at the Ayr Academy, studied theoretical and applied mechanics, and learned the machinist trade. He came to the United States in 1869 and settled in Chicago. He was employed in several printing offices, and was for many years foreman of the pressrooms of the Inter Ocean. In 1872 he commenced to make inventions in printing machinery. His mechanical skill and thorough knowledge of the requirements of the printing office enabled him to produce economical and labor-saving machinery which was eagerly sought after by the appreciative printer. Among his inventions at that time was the printing from a web, pasting, cutting and folding, so as to produce a newspaper with the leaves cut in book from at one operation; also a new rotary web printing and folding machine which produced 30,000 copies per hour.

The demand for Mr. Scott’s improved machines became so great … that in 1884 it was found necessary to erect extensive and commodious works at Plainfield, New Jersey, a cut and description of which will be found below. Messrs. Walter Scott & Co. now makes no less than 117 different kinds and sizes of printing machines, ranging from a small cylinder press to a large book and newspaper machine costing $40,000 and capable of printing, pasting, cutting, and folding 96,000 eight-page papers per hour; besides many other machine and appliances connected with printing.

…This extensive manufactory is situated on South Avenue, between Richmond and Berckman Streets, and adjacent to the central Railroad of New Jersey, in the city of Plainfield. The works occupy five acres, are connected with the central Railroad by a siding and 1,700 feet of rails are laid through the yard to the various building. … The area of floor space is over 78,000 square feet. The buildings are beautifully lighted up by 25 arc and 400 incandescent electric lights, the dynamos of which are placed in the engine room.

…The factory and its equipment are the most complete of anything we have ever seen in this line of manufacture, and we understand it is the largest exclusively devoted to the manufacture of printing and kindred machinery in the United States, over one hundred and fifty machines being in process of construction at one time.– The Inland Printer, American Lithographer 7 (1889/1890): 564-66

See also:
Frederick W. Hamilton, Type and presses in America, a brief historical sketch of the development of type casting and press building in the United States ([Chicago] Pub. by the Committee on education, United typothetae of America, 1918). Graphic Arts Collection 2006-1856N

Herbert L. Baker, Cylinder printing machines, being a study of the mechanism and operation of the principal types of cylinder printing machines ([Chicago] Pub. by the Committee on education, United typothetae of America, 1918). Graphic Arts Collection 2007-0021N



A Born Classic

Mark Argetsinger, A Grammar of Typography: Classical Book Design in the Digital Age (Boston: David R. Godine, 2020). 528 pages; 8.5 x 12 inches; illustrated with over 425 images, many in full color.

The arrival of Mark Argetsinger’s new book, A Grammar of Typography, sent me running to a thesaurus in search of a word larger than comprehensive. Should we describe it as thorough? Inclusive? Far-reaching, in-depth, sweeping, or simply grand?

The publisher’s material begins: “A Grammar of Typography is a comprehensive guide to traditional book design that is both practical and historical. Interspersed with discussions of digital typesetting and page layout are broad historical views of the tradition of the book along with specific reference to the printer’s grammar or manual, the industry’s own codification of its usage, from Joseph Moxon in the seventeenth century through Theodore Low De Vinne in the nineteenth. In addition, there are chapters on house style, proof-reading, copy-editing, paper, binding, and appendices on typographical ornaments and Greek type. The book ends with an annotated bibliography and an index.”

How can you not love a book with an introduction titled “The Hidden Soul of Harmony: The Classical Tradition. A Practice in Search of a Theory”? Although Argetsinger claims “this is primarily a practical manual, not a scholarly treatise,” one would be hard-pressed to find a more philosophical look at “marks of quotation,” “font editing,” or “horizontal space.”

There is also biography and chronology. “In addition, Aldus was the first to cast in type the humanist’s running or cursive hand, known as the Italic. The busy work of the humanist, who daily, it seemed, uncovered new works of the Ancients, lying long neglected in the monastic or royal libraries of Europe, had required an efficient script to match the urgent copying of new texts.”

In his preface, Argetsinger writes, “This book intends to provide a historical context to the enterprise of book-making. The term grammar appears in its title both in reference to the historical phenomenon of ‘grammars’ of printing, regarding which much will be said along the way, as well as in reference to a certain graphical literacy that is requisite for the intelligent use of design and production tools in the digital age. Historical context is important both from the point of view of tracking evolving trends in the composition and display of printed matter, as well as from the point of view of preserving the traditions of its best practices.”

Open it anywhere and start reading.



“After the first necessities of life, nothing is more precious to us than books. The Art of Typography, which produces them, provides essential services to society and secures incalculable benefits. …Thus one could rightly call it par excellence the art of all arts and the science of all sciences.” –Pierre-Simon Fournier, le jeune, Manuel Typographique, Book 1 (1764).



A classical book designer, Argetsinger also embraces 21st-century technology, writing:
“There is something wonderful about working out the proportion of the page on screen, precisely mapping out its structure with the (by turns visible or invisible) grid and and page line; setting up one’s font with a complement of sorts so vast, even Christopher Plantin would feel a twinge of envy; readily changing size, font, color, position; and arraying, say, a two-volume, 800-page book heavy with illustrations and then placing its entire content on a digital thumb-drive….”

[Forgive my poor photography, the book itself is perfect.]

Colophon: “A Grammar of Typography set in DTL’s Fleischmann and printed on 115 Gem Munken print cream. All printing and binding by PBtisk Printing Company in the Czech Republic. This first edition consists of 1,875 hardcover trade copies as well as a deluxe slipcased edition of 125 copies signed and numbered by the author and only available directly from the publisher. Designed and composed by Mark Argetsinger, Holyoke, Massachusetts.”


A PostScript: My favorite Argetsinger design, proof he can do it all.

Catalogue des papiers marbrés, pointillés, grainés, glacés …

The Graphic Arts Collection added several marbled paper sample books, with swatches of various techniques from the 19th century. These can be used in conjunction with the modern reference texts and the wonderful database from the University of Washington “Decorated and Decorative Paper Collection” at, posted by Sandra Kroupa, Katie Blake and Johanna Burgess in 2006-2007. Not only are there digital examples that can be compared to these paper samples but a glossary of terms that explains the difference between what Wolfe calls Peacock and Miura calls Bouquet marble. They note:

When examining classification of marbling patterns, it is important to know that although many texts have been written on the subject, none is universally accepted as the ultimate authority. Historically patterns have been given idiosyncratic names, based on various criteria: the techniques used in their making, cultural practices or artist’s whim. The result is that patterns have multiple names.

See also: Wolfe, R. Marbled paper: Its history, techniques, and patterns. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 1990 and Miura, Einen. The art of marbled paper. London: Zaehnsdorf Ltd., 1989.


Posted here are images from the Belgian packaging firm A. van Genechten. [Paper sample catalogue]. Turnhout, A. van Genechten, 1858, with 421 original paper samples pasted onto 78 unnumbered leaves, including:
62 samples of papier marbré turc ou shell (Turkish or shell marbled paper)
53 samples of papier marbré anglais ou spanish (English or Spanish marbled paper)
20 samples of papier marbré dannonay (Annonay marbled paper)
27 samples of papier marbré écaille (tortoiseshell marbled paper)
14 samples of papier graîné (grained marbled paper)
14 samples of papier pointillé fin (fine dotted marbled paper)
7 samples of papier piqué (quilted paper)
6 samples of papier jaspé (paper resembling a jasper stone)
36 samples of papier uni glacé no. 1 (plain glossy paper)
10 samples of papier uni glacé taffend (taffend? glossy plain paper)
4 samples of papier tarrotage sur fond blanc (tarrotage? paper on white background)
65 samples of papier fleuragé no 1 (flower paper)
26 samples of papier fleuragé sur fond blanc (floral paper on a white background)
8 samples of papier uni balance (plain balanced paper)
2 large samples of papier marbré splashed, satiné ou non satiné (splashed marbled paper, satin or non-satin)
10 large samples of papier marbré à plumes ou non pareil no 1(feathered or non-similar marbled paper)
17 large samples of papier marbré à plumes ou non pareil no 2 (feathered or non-similar marbled paper)
6 large samples of papiers fins divers (various fine papers)
7 large samples of papiers emaillés (enameled papers)
7 large samples of papiers marbrés agathe (Agathe marbled papers)
3 large samples of papiers racinés (rooted papers)

Founded in 1855, the firm of Antoon van Genechten specialized in playing cards, decorated papers, ephemera, and packaging material, flourishing over 100 years. The firm supplied products worldwide including England, Spain, France, Denmark, South-East Asia (Thailand, Java, the Celebes), India, China and Japan. In 1868 Van Genechten had been granted an official licence to print playing cards with Chinese and Japanese paintings. The company finally merged, along with Brepols and Biermans, into the newly formed company Carta Mundi in 1970. See more:

Collection of Decorated and Watermarked Papers Assembled by Ingeborg M. Hartmann

The Graphic Arts Collection recently acquired the collection of decorated and watermarked papers assembled by Ingeborg M. Hartmann (later owned by Jelle Samshuijzen). A description prepared by Sidney Berger is sampled here.

For over 40 years the German bookbinder Ingeborg M. Hartmann saved the endsheets and, in some cases, cover papers of the books she worked on, along with unprinted leaves (almost certainly flyleaves) containing watermarks. Today, her collection is housed in three custom boxes as follows: Box 1 contains 104 samples of decorated papers, mounted on 23 stiff archival board substrates; Box 2 contains 148 samples of mostly marbled papers, mounted on 42 stiff archival board substrates; Box 3 contains 142 unprinted leaves, each with a watermark.

This post highlights the watermark collection, which also includes two bound volumes that show the actual watermarks using beta radiography and drawings of these marks by Hartmann. No provenance information on the watermarked papers are given and the dates only generally listed 16th century to 19th century. The collection is not inclusive or definitive of any one place or time, but instead a gathering of fascinating, often beautiful examples. As with the printed and marbled papers, Hartmann has gathered hundreds of items to study and enjoy.

Here is a digital copy of one volume: hartmanncollectionofwatermarks

read more:

Ingeborg M. Hartmann and Eva-Maria Hanebutt-Benz, Das Gesicht der Bücher : Ingeborg M. Hartmann, Buchbinderin : Museum für Kunsthandwerk Frankfurt am Main, Ausstellung vom 26. Februar 1987 bis 8. Juni 1987 (Frankfurt am Main (Germany): Dezernat Kultur und Freizeit. ; Museum für Kunsthandwerk Frankfurt am Main, 1987). Graphic Arts Collection » Z269.2 .H37 1987

Ingeborg M. Hartmann, Buchbindermeisterin: [Ausstellung] Museum für Kunst und Gewerbe Hamburg, 28. August bis 10. Oktober 1985 ([Hamburg] : [Museum für Kunst und Gewerbe], 1985).

Here are a few more samples:



Spreadsheet to watermarks

As we previously posted, the Graphic Arts Collection holds a unique volume of nearly 400 specimens of European papers with different watermarks (1377-1840), acquired at the suggestion of Elmer Adler with a fund turned over to the Library by the Friends of the Princeton University Library. Adler must have been a good negotiator, talking rare book dealer Philip Duschnes down from $350 to $300.

Recently, the album was not only digitized: (Permanent Link), but we have also created an excel sheet so the watermarks can be searched with words:

The spreadsheet is large but useful if you want to see whether “grapes” are used in watermarks over many years or what type of animals, such as unicorns, turn up.

Originally in the collection of Dawson Turner (1775–1858), the auction catalogue description reads: ’Watermarks on Paper. A very curious collection of upwards of three hundred and seventy specimens of paper with various Watermarks, for A.D. 1377 to A. D. 1842, collected with a view to assist in ascertaining the age of undated manuscripts, and of verifying that of dated ones, by Dawson Turner, Esq. and bound in 1 vol. half calf.’

See also: Catalogue of the Remaining Portion of the Library of Dawson Turner, Esq., M.A., F.R.S., F.S.A., F.L.S., etc., etc. formerly of Yarmouth: which will be sold by auction by Messrs. Puttick and Simpson … Leicester Square … on Monday, May 16th, 1859, and seven following days (Sunday excepted). [London, 1859], item 1523.

Specimens of Paper with Different Water Marks, 1377-1840. 1 v. (unpaged); 40 cm. 371 specimens of watermarked paper, together with brief descriptions of each in a mid-nineteenth century ms. hand. The specimens are mainly blank leaves, though some leaves feature writing and letterpress. Specimen 334 is stamped sheet addressed to Dawson Turner (1775-1858), Yarmouth. Purchased with funds from the Friends of the Princeton University Library. Graphic Arts: Reference Collection (GARF) Oversize Z237 .S632f

DIY: Be the first to own this 1673 book

Title page


The Graphic Arts Collection holds this uncut, unpublished single sheet imposition* for two copies of a 24 page 1673 miniature book. Below are the recto and verso as single pages that you can print double-sided and cut off the excess paper on the side. Then fold and cut to create your own copy of this Italian devotional. Extra credit is given for hand coloring the plate.

*Imposition: Process of arranging the pages for each side of a sheet by placing them on a flat surface, surrounding them with wooden spacing pieces (the furniture) of less than type height, and locking them into the chase with long and short wedges, thus creating the forme.

Laude spirituale nella quale si contengono le parti principali della dottrina christiana (Roma, 1674). Held by the Biblioteca Casanatense.

Laude spirituale: nella quale si contengono le parti principali, della dottrina christiana. Parte prima (Torino: Per Bartolomeo Zapatta, 1632). Original printer’s sheet, designed to be cut in half; each half, when folded, would form a 24 page booklet (11 cm., 12 mo). Apparently the booklet was never issued. Held by the University of California Berkeley Library.

John Smith (active 1755), The printer’s grammar: containing a concise history of the origin of printing; also, an examination of the superficies, gradation, and properties of the different sizes of types … tables of calculations; models of letter cases; schemes for casting off copy, and imposing; … with directions to authors, compilers, &c. how to prepare copy, and to correct their own proofs. Chiefly collected from Smith’s edition. To which are added directions for pressmen, &c. (London, Printed by L. Wayland and sold by T. Evans, 1787). Princeton copy is from the library of P. J. Conkwright. Graphic Arts Collection Z244.A2 S7

Paper made from straw (rye, wheat, barley, oats, peas, beans, lentils, and corn)

Louis Piette (1803-1862), Die Fabrikation des Papieres aus Stroh und vielen andern Substanzen: im Grossen nach zahlreichen Versuchen beschrieben und mit 160 Mustern von verschiedenen Papiersorten beweisen: nebst einer Beschreibung der neuesten Erfindungen in der Papierfabrikation, für Fabrikanten und alle Freunde der Forschritte in Cultur und Industrie (Cologne: Dümont-Schauberg, 1838). Graphic Arts Collection GAX 2018- in process

The Graphic Arts Collection has a number of early sources on papermaking, often with paper samples tipped in. This volume, recently acquired, is not the earliest but certainly is one of the rarest of all papermaking books, with 25 more samples than most other recorded copies (ok, yes, the copy at the University of Amsterdam apparently has 192 samples but who’s counting).

The papers are chiefly from various kinds of straw (rye, wheat, barley, oats, peas, beans, lentils, and corn), singly or in combination; some mixed with hay and/or rags; and some bleached or colored. There are also five samples of cardboard made from straw and other fibers and ten non-straw papers (hay, oakum, wood, linden bark; some with rags).

In 1827, Louis Piette, a native of Belgium, took over the paper making factory started by his father in Dillingen and performed many experiments using different materials to produce various suitable kinds of paper, operating the mill from 1819 to 1854.  Note in particular leaves 203-33 are themselves made of various straw papers.

“Louis Piette followed in the footsteps of noted papermaking researchers of the 18th century…These early attempts, however, were not as successful as the finished papers made by Louis Piette. The significance of Piette’s investigations is very simple: his papers made from straw remain clean and almost as pliable as comparable papers made from rag…Piette’s papers, moreover, really are straw papers, without mixing in small amounts of flax fibers. Piette’s experiments showed a great understanding of papermaking from a production standpoint, and, with the increase use of the fourdrinier machine, his work led directly into the use of esparto grass prior to the discovery of chemical bleaching for soft- and hardwood paper manufacture…By the 1860‘s, the age of modern machine papermaking was at hand, and Piette’s earlier papermaking experiment showed how well he understood the future of papermaking.“–The Paper Trail. Quarterly Newsletter of the Robert C. Williams American Museum of Papermaking (Vol. 2, Nos. 1 & 2, January- March & April-June 2004). In these two articles the author states there are only four known copies of this book.

Of particular importance in this volume, found on pages 246-91 is the second printing of Moritz Illig’s Anleitung auf eine sichere, einfache und wohlfeile Art Papier in der Masses zu leimen (first edition 1806). According to Leonard Schlosser’s 1971exhibition catalogue, only two copies are known of the first edition. This text describes Illig’s “momentous” (Schlosser) invention of rosin-alum sizing. The addition of this mixture aided in making the paper take writing ink with less necessity for sizing with glue, as had been the vogue for five hundred years. It provided a simple, sure method for sizing paper more rapidly with non-putrescible materials. Illig’s book was literally consumed in use and only two copies are known.–Special thanks to Yoshi Hill for his research on this volume.

Some of the other early papermaking sources in the Graphic Arts Collection include:

Papeterie: contenant quatorze planches, dont une double ([A Paris: Chez Briasson … David … Le Breton …, 1767]. Graphic Arts Collection Oversize 2011-0013F

Louis-Charles Desnos (1725-1805), Dissertation historique sur l’invention des lettres, ou caracteres d’écriture: sur les instrumens dont les anciens se sont servi pour écrire; & sur les matières qu’ils ont employées: suivie d’une Instruction raisonnée sur le papier nouveau que le sieur Desnos annonce au public: & dont on trouvera à la fin une suite de feuillets pour écrire & dessiner dans tel genre que ce soit avec un stylet ou pointe d’un métal composé pour cet usage (Paris: Chez Desnos, ingénieur-géographe & libraire de Sa Majesté danoise … , 1771). The 52 blank leaves at end are samples of Denos’ paper, intended for use as a notebook; cf. p. 3 (2nd group). Graphic Arts Collection 2009-0605N

Charles-Michel, marquis de, Villette (1736-1793), Œuvres du marquis de Villette (Londres. [i.e. Langlée, France: P. A. Léorier Delisle], M. DCC. LXXXVI. [1786]). “Ce volume est imprimé sur le papier d’écorce de tilleul.”–Verso of half title. Based on the 18mo format, the sheet size is ca. 48 x 36 cm. (crown), though Hunter reported his copy as 16 x 10 cm. (thus ca. 60 x 48 cm, royal, calculated from the same format). Issued also on rose-colored paper and on paper made from marshmallow. Includes 20 sample leaves of Léorier Delisle’s experimental paper made from various plant materials: marshmallow, nettles, hops, moss, reeds, conferva (3 kinds), burdock, burdock-colt’s foot, and thistles; quack-grass root; hazel wood and spindle wood; and bark of willow, spindle tree, oak, poplar, osier and elm. Each leaf includes printed identification of the material used: papier de guimauve, d’ortie, de houblon, de mousse, de roseaux, de conferva (première / seconde / troisième espèce), de racines de chiendent, de bois de coudrier, de bois de fusain, d’écorce de fusain avec son épiderme ou croûte, d’écorce de chéne, d’écorce de peuplier, d’écorce d’osier, d’écorce d’orme, d’écorce de saule, de bardanne, de bardanne et de pas-d’ane, de chardons. Graphic Arts Collection 2004-0061S

Matthias Koops, Historical account of the substances which have been used to describe events, and to convey ideas, from the earliest date to the invention of paper (London: Printed by T. Burton …, 1800). “Printed on the first useful paper manufactured soley [sic] from straw.” Appendix (p. [85]-91) printed on “paper made from wood alone … without any intermixture of rags, waste paper, bark, straw, or any other vegetable substance.” Laid in: sample blank folded sheet of straw paper, 35 x 43 cm. folded to 18 x 12 cm. Watermark: “Neckinger Mill.” Graphic Arts Collection Oversize TS1090 .K66q

The Sister arts, or, A concise and interesting view of the nature and history of paper-making, printing, and bookbinding: being designed to unite entertainment with information concerning those arts, with which the cause of literature is peculiarly connected: embellished with three engravings ([Lewes]: Sussex Press, Lewes: Printed and published by J. Baxter, and sold by the principal booksellers in London, 1809). GAX copy: From the library of P. J. Conkwright. Graphic Arts Collection 2003-0052N