Paper Machine

Mass-produced pulp and paper fuelled the golden age of print journalism.

Written by Mathieu Drouin

Posted February 16, 2023

Manufactured in the 1950s, this paper machine was used to train students at the École de papeterie de Trois-Rivières for nearly fifty years. It represents the culmination of more than two centuries of evolution of the pulp-and-paper industry in Canada.

During the nineteenth century, various small, local enterprises that employed French-Canadian loggers were replaced by large companies, which spurred the expansion of the forestry industry. Newsprint became the industry's flagship product, due to the growing demand from the United States.

By the early twentieth century, a small number of large corporations and factories owned by American newspapers dominated the industry. After a slump in the 1930s, prosperity returned to the sector after the Second World War, and thousands of Canadians found work in timber harvesting and processing. A slow decline began in the 1970s and accelerated in the twenty-first century with the rise of digital media.

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This object resides at Boréalis — Musée Trois-Rivières

This article originally appeared in Cinquante Merveilles de nos musées: les plus beaux trésors de la Francophonie Canadienne. The special interest publication was part of Projet Portage, a five-year initiative to connect history lovers in French and English Canada, generously supported by the Molson Foundation.

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