Reading the History of the Book in Canada Volume Three 1918 to 1980, I came across this in Randall Speller’s article ‘Book Design in English Canada’
Despite a large pulp and paper industry, only a few Canadian mills produced book papers before 1945> in Ontario, the Provincial Paper Company in Georgetown and the Howard Smith Paper Company in Cornwall both made Featherweight and Antique book papers, while in Quebec the Rolland Paper Company also produced fine book papers.
Living in Ottawa, just an hour’s drive away from Cornwall I decided yesterday to check out the above mentioned mill. First stop was the Cornwall Community Museum,
where Ian Bowering quickly informed me that the mill had been demolished years ago. According to Wikipedia the original mill was built by the Toronto Manufacturing Company in 1881 and purchased by Howard Smith Paper Mills in 1919. The current site is now a brownfield. All that remains standing is a couple of smoke
So much for my hopes to explore an old paper mill in Cornwall. To make matters worse, there isn’t even a bookstore in town. Next best thing was to look through what was on offer at the Museum. Other than a few old photographs, some newspaper clippings, the odd paper sample book and some old deeds, there wasn’t much. Except for this, a folder containing mimeographed lessons from a course on pulp and papermaking conducted on site at the old paper mill itself.
and within this, this
part of a quite wonderful little lesson on the art and science of rag paper making. Put me in mind of the tour I once took of David Carruthers’s St Armand Papers in Montreal. (Listen to here our Biblio File conversation about the making of rag paper).
Today’s lesson? Regardless of how barren the landscape, you’ll always somewhere find some interesting connection to the book, if you look a little.