Unprecedented in size and scope, this directory describes more than 500 paper mills on the basis of census records, archival sources, local histories, and watermark evidence. It traces economic developments and technological changes in the American paper trade from the colonial period to the industrial era, with special reference to its close connections with the printing business, which depended on local sources of supply for newsprint, book paper, and plate paper for engraved illustrations. Newly discovered and reattributed watermarks make it possible to identify these products and provide a more reliable means of dating and localizing works on paper.
This fully documented survey of paper mills also contains biographical information about members of the trade and a succinct history of papermaking in America with essays on manufacturing methods, mechanization, business practices, and distribution networks. Among the illustrations in this volume are hitherto unrecorded woodcut and engraved views of manufactories, used in the packaging art of that period.