The Rittenhouse Mill and the Beginnings of Papermaking in America
In 1691 the Rittenhouse family opened a paper mill outside of Philadelphia and for the next forty years were the only paper manufacturers in America. Wilhelm Rittinghausen, later known as William Rittenhouse, was born in Mulheim, Germany and learned the paper making trade. He moved to Amsterdam at a young age and then emigrated to America with his three children in 1687. William's descendants continued to be active in the paper making business into the nineteenth century when the productivity of the mill gaveway to the new technology.
What people are saying - Write a review
according acres American bank began begin bond building built called century Claus collection colonies Commission Company continued Creek deckle died divided documents drying Dutch early ended England evidence Fairmount Park four fourth Friends German Germantown Historical Society hundred imported Jacob kind known laid land later lease Lehman letter lower mill mark materials mill's millrace monopoly mould move original Paper Mill Run Paper-Mill papermaking Philadelphia pounds Price printer printing paper probably Quakers rags Ream rebuild rent Rittenhouse family Rittenhouse mill Rittenhouse paper RittenhouseTown Robert Turner Rozendaal Samuel Carpenter seen share sheet shillings shows Society of Pennsylvania stream supplied survey Term Thomas Tresse town Trade turned Twenty vatman watermarks Wilhelm William Bradford William McCulloch William Rittenhouse wires Wissahickon writing paper written York
Page 9 - Pennsylvania, in which he alludes to the settlement : — " The German town of which I spoke before, Which is at least in length one mile or more, Where lives High German people and Low Dutch, Whose trade in weaving linen cloth is much, — There grows the flax, as also you may know That from the same they do divide the tow. Their trade suits well their habitation, — We find convenience for their occupation.
Page 10 - Here dwelt a printer and I find That he can both print books and bind ; He wants not paper, ink nor skill He's owner of a paper mill. The paper mill is here hard by And makes good paper frequently, But the printer, as I do here tell, Is gone into New York to dwell.
Page 9 - Germantown, t'other hard by. A paper mill near German-Town doth stand, So that the flax which first springs from the land, First flax, then yarn, and then they must begin, To weave the same which they took pains to spin. Also when on our backs it is well worn, Some of the same remains ragged and Torn; Then of the Rags our Paper it is made ; Which in process of time doth waste and fade : So what comes from the earth, appeareth plain, The same in Time, returneth to earth again.
Page 9 - Habitation, We find Convenience for their Occupation, One Trade brings in imployment for another, So that we may suppose each Trade a Brother; From Linnin Rags good Paper doth derive, The first Trade keeps the second Trade alive: Without the first the second cannot be, Therefore since these two can so well agree, Convenience doth approve to place them nigh, One in the German-Town, 'tother hard by.
Page 11 - Also it is further Covenanted That during ye sd. Ten years ye sd. William and Clause Rittenhouse shall lett ye said Wm Bradford his Executors or Assigns have ye refusal of all ye printing paper that they make and he shall take ye same at Ten shillings pr. Ream, As also ye sd. Bradford shall have ye refusal of five Ream of writing paper and thirty Ream of brown paper yearly and every year during ye sd.
Page 6 - Whereas In the year of our Lord, One thousand Six hundred and Ninety, It was agreed Between the said Samuel Carpenter of the one part, And Robert Turner, William Bradford, Thomas Tresse and the said William Rittenhouse in behalf of themselves and others that undertook to build a Paper Mill upon the Land hereafter mentioned of the other part, That the said Samuel Carpenter should Demise unto the said Robert Turner, William Bradford, Thomas Tresse, William Rittenhouse and the rest of the Company or...
Page 11 - part owners of the Paper-Mill near Germantown,' had recently sustained a very great loss by a violent and sudden flood, which carried away the said mill, with a considerable quantity of paper, materials and tools, with other things therein, whereby they were reduced to great distress ; and, therefore recommending to such persons as should be disposed to lend them aid, to give the sufferers, ' relief and encouragement, in their needful and commendable employment,' as they were ' desirous to set up...
Page 9 - Samuel Carpenter and I are Building a Paper-Mill about a Mile from thy Mills at Skulkill, and hope we shall have Paper within less than four months.
Page 6 - ... that Tract of Land whereon the same stands, Beginning at a Spruce Tree near Wessehickon Creek. Then North East One hundred and Ten perches by Thomas Jaques Land to a Corner post; Then North West by German-Town Land Thirty five perches to a Corner post; Then South West by Thomas Master's Land Ninety four perches to a post by the said Wessehickon Creek; Then down the several Courses of the same Creek to the place of beginning. Layd out for Twenty Acres being part of One hundred acres sold and Conveyed...
Page 11 - That they, the sd William and Clause Rittenhouse shall pay and deliver to said William Bradford, his exec«, or assigns, or their order, in Philadelphia, ye full quantity of Seven Ream of Printing paper, Two Ream of good writing paper, and Two Ream of blue paper, yearly and every year during y