Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Crane and Company Old Stone Mill Rag Room

A great place to take a midweek tour into a slice (or a page) right out of history.

The Papermaking Museum at Crane's Old Stone Mill
40 Pioneer Street, Dalton, Massachusetts (about 1/2 hour for the 1896 House)
(413) 684-7780

This structure represents the oldest paper factory (c. 1844) in continuous operation at one site, and outstandingly documents the early development of the American paper industry through the 19th and into the 20th century.

The museum, first opened in the autumn of 1930, it is on the National Register of Historic Places, National Register Number: 83004376. The one-story building is situated on the banks of the Housatonic River, which supplied the water to wash the rags and drive the machinery of the early Crane mills.

The museum is open Monday through Friday from 1 to 5 p.m., free of charge, from early June through mid-October. 

Some interesting facts about Crane & Co.
Crane and Co. has been making fine paper for over 200 years and is now in its seventh generation of being owned and operated by the Crane family.

Papers made by Stephen Crane were used to print patriotic newspapers and broadsides leading up to and during the war, and were even engraved for Colonial Currency by Paul Revere. Revere even pastured his horses at the Liberty Paper Mill, just in case he needed to make a midnight ride…

Franklin and Eleanor conducted the affairs of a nation on Crane paper.

The Queen Mum announced the celebration of her 100th birthday on Crane paper.

Paul Revere engraved banknotes for the Colony of Massachusetts Bay on Crane paper to help finance the American Revolution.

As early as 1806, local and regional banks began printing currency on Zenas Crane's fine cotton papers. This was quickly followed by official government proclamations, permanent public records and stocks and bonds.

In the mid 1800s. Crane’s began making 100% cotton stationary. Soon after that, it was discovered that trees could be made into paper. Crane stayed with what they thought and currently still use what they think the best material to make paper out of; cotton.