Paper and Box Making Industries in Wheeling, 1886
-from The Wheeling Daily Intelligencer, September 14, 1886
Paper and Box Making
THE MANUFACTURE OF PAPER
The Hanna & Clemens Paper Company's Works
It is a significant fact that when recently the firm of Hanna & Clemens, manufacturers of all rag news and book paper, was merged into the Hanna & Clemens Paper Company, and it was concluded to enlarge their capacity, introduce new machinery and practically rebuild the Fulton Paper Mill, the company after casting about all over the country from Canada to the gulf and from Nashville to St. Paul for a new location, decided to reject several advantageous offers and relocate here.
They were led to adopt this course by the unusually good facilities for cheap transportation, the good water and the advantages of natural gas for fuel. Aside from the reduced cost of the new fuel, the gain in cleanliness is worth money. Great as are the advantages of natural gas in the production of iron or glass, they cannot equal those which the new fuel affords in the manufacture of paper. In addition to the even texture and the desirable facility for regulating the steam at will, gas contributes to the clear surface and untarnished tint, which are the chief beauties of paper.
Said Mr. Hanna to an INTELLIGENCER reporter the other day: "The greatest difficulty we contend with in the manufacture of white paper is the annoyance of coal dust. That, of course, becomes a thing of the past with the introduction of natural gas. The fine coal here," he added, "was itself an unusual advantage. I have had some experience in making paper elsewhere. In a Southern town which is a considerable railroad centre, coal cost 9 cents a bushel. That was high, but when I got to using the coal I found the cost was really about 27 cents a bushel, for it took three bushels to go as far as one of Wheeling coal."
Mr. Hanna in speaking of the growth of the paper making industry here, said that the present edition of the INTELLIGENCER consumed an amount of paper equal to the product of the Fulton mill in two weeks' run at the close of the war, when the Wheeling papers were supplied by this mill.
The Fulton Paper Mill has two large wells which yield about 250 gallons of water a minute a day and night the year round, the water being clear as crystal. The machinery is all of the latest inventions, and the new mill one of the most complete and conveniently arranged anywhere in the country. It is the only mill in the State making print paper, and has a capacity for turning out three tons of paper every twenty-four hours. The demand is already upto the capacity of the mill, and with the improved quality natural gas enables them to give their paper, the company expects an increased inquiry for their product which will compel them soon to increase their capacity to possibly double the present output. Its specialty is what is known as "religious news," a little better grade of paper than ordinary rag paper. Not a pound of wood pulp nor straw enters into the composition of their paper.
The company's trade extends to Cincinnati, Pittsburgh, Cleveland, New York, St. Paul, Minn. and to nearly all the cities and towns of this section of the country. The corporation officials are: T. Hanna, President; C.A. Robinson, Secretary and Treasurer; D. Clemens, Manager.
D. Wagner operates a paper mill at West Wheeling, on the Ohio side of the river, with an office in this city. He makes straw wrapping paper, and has an extensive trade which keeps his mill busy.
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Wood and Paper Boxes
There is a considerable industry in boxmaking in Wheeling, the glass, tack, hinge, cigar and other industries consuming immense numbers of wood and pasteboard boxes of all sizes and styles. Millions of wood and paper boxes for cigars are turned out annually, and though largely used in Wheeling and vicinity, they go with their contents all over the world. This and the making of larger boxes for packing purposes employs in all over a hundred men, boys and girls, and adds considerably in the course of a year to Wheeling's consumption of raw materials.