Manuscripts Division
William L. Clements Library
University of Michigan

Finding aid for
Wissahickon Paper Mill Papers, 1844-1845

Finding aid created by
Susan M. Swasta, January 1994, and Meg Hixon, April 2012

Summary Information
Title: Wissahickon Paper Mill papers
Creator: Anonymous
Inclusive dates: 1844-1845
Extent: 7 items
Abstract:
This collection contains 2 letters and 5 documents concerning the operation of a paper mill on Wissahickon Creek near Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, in 1844 and 1845. These include an indenture for the property, financial records and receipts, and correspondence regarding the mill's output and potential technical improvements.

Language: The material is in English
Repository: William L. Clements Library, University of Michigan
909 S. University Ave.
The University of Michigan
Ann Arbor, MI 48109-1190
Phone: 734-764-2347
Web Site: www.clements.umich.edu


Access and Use
Acquisition Information:

1992. M-2891.24.

Access Restrictions:

The collection is open for research.

Copyright:

Copyright status is unknown

Processing Information:

Cataloging funded by the National Historical Publications and Records Commission (NHPRC). This collection has been processed according to minimal processing procedures and may be revised, expanded, or updated in the future.

Preferred Citation:

Wissahickon Paper Mill papers, William L. Clements Library, The University of Michigan


Arrangement

The collection is arranged chronologically, with one undated item placed at the end.


History

In 1844, the Bank of Germantown (Pennsylvania) leased an old grist mill to Charles Magarge and Edwin R. Cope, who were both involved in the Philadelphia paper industry. Along with William Sherer, they successfully converted the mill into a paper manufacturing facility. Paper production commenced around November 1844, and the mill continued to operate under Charles Magarge & Company until at least the 1870s.


Collection Scope and Content Note

This collection contains 2 letters and 5 documents concerning the operation of a paper mill on Wissahickon Creek near Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, in 1844 and 1845. These include an indenture for the property, financial records and receipts, and correspondence regarding the mill's output and potential technical improvements.

Among the financial records are a handwritten receipt between George Weiss and the Bank of Germantown for equipment (March 25, 1844) and the report of a committee assigned to sell equipment left over from the grist mill that once occupied the property (March 25, 1844). Two items relate to a contract between H. H. Bottom & Company and William Sherer concerning improvements to be made to the facility: the original agreement between the parties includes a list of materials to be furnished by the company (February 17, 1844), and a later document relates the findings of a group assigned to arbitrate a disagreement over the refitting of the mill (January 6, 1845). The remaining 3 items concern Charles Magarge and the paper mill's ownership and operation. These are a brief letter Magarge wrote to Samuel Harvey, the Bank of Germantown's president, in which he reported the mill's production figures between November 1844 and February 1845 (March 8, 1845); the indenture in which the Bank of Germantown agreed to lease the mill and surrounding property to Magarge and to Edwin R. Cope of the Philadelphia Paper Manufacturers and Dealers (July 22, 1845); and an undated letter from John H. Caulking to Charles Magarge regarding the dimensions of a water wheel to power the mill's engines, based on Caulking's recent observations of a mill at Trenton, New Jersey.

Subject Terms

    Subjects:
    • Gristmills--Pennsylvania.
    • Paper industry--United States.
    • Paper mills--Power supply.
    • Papermaking--Equipment and supplies.
    • Water-wheels.
    • Wissahickon Creek (Pa.)
    Contributors:
    • Bank of Germantown (Philadelphia, Pa.)
    • Caulking, John.
    • Harvey, Samuel.
    • Magarge, Charles.
    • Sherer, William.
    Genre Terms:
    • Indentures.
    • Letters (correspondence)
    • Receipts (financial records)
    • Reports.
    Contents List
       Container / Location    Title
    Box   50, Small Collections  
    Wissahickon Paper Mill papers [series]:
    Folders   5-8  
      February 17, 1844-July 22, 1845, and  Undated
    Additional Descriptive Data

    A more detailed subject index is available in the Manuscripts Division.