Pulp and Paper Canada

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Celebrating our history

Through a coincidence of timing, we've gone a bit historical in this issue. An email from one of our readers, Sam Clements, prompted a retrospective on the invention of the papermachine. He wrote, "Ev...

September 1, 2007  By Pulp & Paper Canada


Through a coincidence of timing, we’ve gone a bit historical in this issue. An email from one of our readers, Sam Clements, prompted a retrospective on the invention of the papermachine. He wrote, “Everybody is so caught up in today’s world, they seem to have forgotten how significant the invention of the paper machine was 200 years ago and how it has impacted on society ever since, solely by making paper readily available.” He suggested, “It would be good if there was a reminder.”

The exact date of the invention is debatable, since several different versions of the first papermachine were patented within a few years at the beginning of the 19th century but the 200th anniversary is approximately now, so why not celebrate the machine that is so central to our industry?

Also of great help in the research was Linda Everett, the Group Leader of the Library and Information Services at FPInnovations – Paprican. In a very short amount of time, she was able to access an incredible amount of information for the project, ranging from rare books to websites. For an overview into the beginnings of the papermachine, please see page S-3.


Instead of the usual Mill People article, we are presenting our readers with a flashback to Expo 67, as remembered by some of the people connected with this industry. Only those of a certain age and of a certain geographical situation (at that time) will remember the exposition but, of those, most feel quite nostalgic. In 2002, Expo 67 was called the best World’s Fair ever. Its impact on Canadians was, indeed, immense and had a lasting effect on those who were fortunate enough to attend. Although the people who contacted us were very young at the time and not all will admit to being adults so long ago, just about everybody remembered the CPPA pavilion and received the familiar stamp into the Expo passports which served as entrance tickets, 40 years ago.

Wouldn’t it be interesting to find out how many people were influenced by what they saw to begin a career in this industry? After all, despite various trends up and down, the industry is still one of the most important in Canada, with a total revenue of $84 billion and 3% of Canada’s GDP, according to Stats Canada. See the article on page 24.

During the past month, I was invited to attend a course presented by Richard Phillips, through Dr. Paul Stuart, at the Ecole Polytechnique — Montreal. Now retired but still a part-time professor in the pulp and paper school at North Carolina State University, Dr. Phillips was the senior VP — Technology for International Paper and on its board of directors for many years. With his experience in helping to develop IP’s famous capital planning model, Dr. Phillips was able to present a unique perspective and insight into convincing pulp and paper companies (and their shareholders) to invest in the forest biorefinery. More information is available on page 11.

One of our regular writers focused his article on the pros and cons of working from home. Figures from an official survey project that 13% of the workforce in 2008 will be working from home, so this is quite a serious trend that many employers are looking into. Now, it is not difficult to imagine how a sales person or journalist might benefit from a job site down the hall from their bedroom, but how many mill workers can take advantage of such an arrangement? If you have any ideas, please let Dan Davies know.

On a more personal note, Heather Lynch, my assistant editor, is returning to full-time studies and, while we are sorry to see any member of our staff leave (and we know that her talent and personality will be difficult to replace), we do need to fill the position. Anyone interested out there?

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