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Home North Carolina Halifax County City of Roanoke Rapids Historical Markers First Kraft Pulp In United States

First Kraft Pulp In United States

NC-48 at Roanoke River, Roanoke Rapids, NC, USA

Latitude & Longitude: 36° 29' 6.3744", -77° 38' 37.8564"
  North Carolina State Historical Marker
    North Carolina State
Historical Marker
    Marker Text:
"Was made here by the sulphate process using southern pine in 1909, by the Roanoke Rapids Paper Manufacturing Company."
     On February 26, 1909, the Roanoke Rapids Paper Manufacturing Company produced the first sulphate processed kraft paper in the United States. The sulphate name refers to the use of sodium sulphate (sulphur). Kraft paper has long been used in applications ranging from butcher paper to concrete sacks.

The pulp mill, constructed between 1907 and 1909, was part of the greater Roanoke Rapids Manufacturing Company, incorporated in 1905. At the outset of production, the mill generated fifteen to eighteen tons of pulp per day, and that daily amount was soon increased to twenty-five tons. Between 1909 and 1912, the finished product of the paper mill was made from ground wood pulp (80%) and sulphate pulp (20%). Kraft paper was manufactured entirely from sulphate pulp after 1912. In 1913, the name of the company was changed to Halifax Paper Company, and improvements were made to the plant in order to boost production to thirty-five tons per day. The company continued to expand and merge over the years and is now a subsidiary of International Paper.

Kirkwood Adams’s Personal Files, provided by the Halifax Development Commission, copy in Historical Marker Files, Research Branch, North Carolina Office of Archives and History
http://www.insights.co.nz/products_processes_pp.aspx http://www.paperonline.org/pulp/level3/grades/grades.html#3 (for description of sulphate pulp)
Joseph C. Robert, Ethyl: A History of the Corporation and the People Who Made It (1983)
David C. Smith, History of Papermaking in the United States, 1691-1969 (1970)
Lyman Horace Weeks, A History of Paper-Manufacturing in the United States, 1690-1916 (1969)
First Kraft Pulp Historical Marker Location Map, United States Historical Marker Location Map, Roanoke Rapids, North Carolina