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Shredding PaperThe Rise and Fall of Maine's Mighty Paper Industry$
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Michael G. Hillard

Print publication date: 2021

Print ISBN-13: 9781501753152

Published to Cornell Scholarship Online: May 2021

DOI: 10.7591/cornell/9781501753152.001.0001

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A Rags to Riches Story

A Rags to Riches Story

(p.15) 1 A Rags to Riches Story
Shredding Paper

Michael G. Hillard

Cornell University Press

This chapter explores why Maine became a paper industry hub or came to be known as the Detroit of paper. It describes American paper mills that were located close to cities in southern New England and the Atlantic, making Maine a remote outpost. It also recounts Maine's preeminence in paper production by 1900, when new economic tectonics would erode its special place in the making of paper. The chapter identifies forces that accounted for the rise of Maine as a leading paper making state. It highlights raw materials, technology, geography, and markets as the four dramatis personae that called forth a massive increase in paper production over the nineteenth and twentieth centuries and steered much of the increase to new mills in Maine.

Keywords:   Maine, U.S. paper mills, paper production, economic tectonics, paper making, Detroit, paper industry

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