PDA

View Full Version : Earl Shaffer's "Paper Mill Blanket"



spvceman
08-20-2010, 19:24
I'm reading "Walking With Spring" right now, and it says that Shaffer used a "paper mill blanket." What the heck is that? Any of you old timers or students of history know?

tlap
08-20-2010, 21:57
I know a bit about paper-making, having visited the Crane Museum of Papermaking in the trail town of Dalton, MA.

It would have been a thick wool blanket, lightly felted, that was used when pressing the water out of the paper.

Hope this helps.

spvceman
10-03-2010, 16:43
Thanks! I was thinking it might be made out of paper pulp or something stupid like that. Your explanation makes a lot more sense.

Lugnut
10-03-2010, 17:37
Tlap probably stayed in a Holiday Inn Express too! :p

tlap
10-03-2010, 20:21
;)

The message you have entered is too short. Please lengthen your message to at least 10 characters.

Tlap probably stayed in a Holiday Inn Express too! :p

walkin' wally
10-04-2010, 17:38
I know a bit about paper-making, having visited the Crane Museum of Papermaking in the trail town of Dalton, MA.

It would have been a thick wool blanket, lightly felted, that was used when pressing the water out of the paper.

Hope this helps.

Having worked in the paper industry for 39 years I think you are right.He probably had a piece of "wet felt" used in the press section of the machine.

As for today these items would be quite heavy for backpacking if rained on. Even a fairly small piece. Nowadays they are actually made out of 100% nylon not a wool felt. Some mills give the used felts away to workers to get rid of them.

peakbagger
10-05-2010, 08:04
A lot of my older relatives worked for a large papermill in Westbrook Maine and we had a few of the "papermill blankets" that had been passed down. The blankets were very high quality dense woven wool and usually called "felts". Dependent upon the machine configuration, the wet felts on the papermachine range from tens to hundreds of feet long. They are a continous loop, the width of the machine (possibly 60 to 160 inches wide for the older machines). The fabric runs at the same speed as the papermachine (500 to 1200 feet per minute for older macines) and are kept under tension. When the fabric gets caught and tears or is worn out, it is cut off the papermachine and is replaced. On older machines they might only last a couple of weeks so anyone associated with the mill (or the local dump) could get them for free. They usually are pretty stiff and have various papermachine additives that are "cooked" into the fabric. This could be a issue as when a felt gets plugged up with additives, the crew will sometimes use agressive cleaning chemicals to try to clean it, if it doesnt work, they cut it off and whomever ends up with it, can get corrosive burns handling them. Generally the best approach was to cut them up and hang them out for a few months to let the rain wash them out and soften them up.

As papermakers tended to be well paid in their area, using papermill blankets was usually reserved for the less fortunate people in the area.

I have a few small pieces of the modern synthetic stuff, it would be worthless for blankets although its great for temporary doors for winterizing.

BAG "o" TRICKS
10-05-2010, 08:38
I'm reading "Walking With Spring" right now, and it says that Shaffer used a "paper mill blanket." What the heck is that? Any of you old timers or students of history know?

You and any others out there that have read this book know if the Clarence Stein mentioned in the forward of the book was the same man he mentions again in his book, running into at the Allentown Shelter?

Spokes
10-05-2010, 10:41
Sounds like the "SHAM-WOW!" is a modern version of wet felt.

BAG "o" TRICKS
10-05-2010, 11:53
I'm reading "Walking With Spring" right now, and it says that Shaffer used a "paper mill blanket." What the heck is that? Any of you old timers or students of history know?

Tlap you are correct. I believe Earl told me his paper mill blanket was a product used in the paper manufacturing process at that time at the P.H. Glatfelter Paper Company.

Info below found on P.H. Glatfelter Company web-site on thier company history.

The P.H. Glatfelter Company was a producer of engineered papers (such as tobacco papers and sophisticated filter papers) and specialty printing papers and was founded in 1864 in the rolling hills of south central Pennsylvania. Spring Grove, the original home of P.H. Glatfelter Company, was established in 1747 along the Codorus Creek some ten miles north of the Pennsylvania-Maryland border. To the west of the town were the Blue Ridge Mountains, and to the east, beyond the larger town of York (where the company relocated in 1999), flowed the wide Susquehanna River. The town's original name, Spring Forge, reflected its early industry, an iron forge, which during the American Revolution manufactured supplies for the Continental Army. The forge was in operation until 1851, when Jacob Hauer bought the buildings and converted them into a paper mill.

walkin' wally
10-05-2010, 14:57
A lot of my older relatives worked for a large papermill in Westbrook Maine and we had a few of the "papermill blankets" that had been passed down. The blankets were very high quality dense woven wool and usually called "felts". Dependent upon the machine configuration, the wet felts on the papermachine range from tens to hundreds of feet long. They are a continous loop, the width of the machine (possibly 60 to 160 inches wide for the older machines). The fabric runs at the same speed as the papermachine (500 to 1200 feet per minute for older macines) and are kept under tension. When the fabric gets caught and tears or is worn out, it is cut off the papermachine and is replaced. On older machines they might only last a couple of weeks so anyone associated with the mill (or the local dump) could get them for free. They usually are pretty stiff and have various papermachine additives that are "cooked" into the fabric. This could be a issue as when a felt gets plugged up with additives, the crew will sometimes use agressive cleaning chemicals to try to clean it, if it doesnt work, they cut it off and whomever ends up with it, can get corrosive burns handling them. Generally the best approach was to cut them up and hang them out for a few months to let the rain wash them out and soften them up.

As papermakers tended to be well paid in their area, using papermill blankets was usually reserved for the less fortunate people in the area.

I have a few small pieces of the modern synthetic stuff, it would be worthless for blankets although its great for temporary doors for winterizing.

Yeah, times have changed a little since the old days. I worked for the company that owns the Westbrook mill. Our wet felts at a sister mill are nearly 300 inches wide and well over a hundred feet in the loop. They are extremely expensive and would last about 7 weeks. We would use a caustic solution to clean them and then rinse them with fresh water sometimes on the fly. The felts would get quite thin after a while and sometimes rip off the machine, which is interesting at 4000 feet per minute. About 45 mph.