History Of Paper
Wisconsin’s paper industry has seen many changes over the past 150 years and has become a cornerstone of Wisconsin’s economy. Papermaking in Wisconsin began in Milwaukee on March 7, 1848. The paper was made of rags and used to publish the Milwaukee Sentinel & Gazette. Three months after the first papermaking began in Wisconsin, President Polk signed legislation to make Wisconsin a state.
Wisconsin’s paper industry has come a long way since that day in March of 1848. With the introduction of the Keller groundwood process, in 1872, the focus of papermaking shifted to the state’s forests; paper could now be made of wood pulp.
Today, Wisconsin’s papermaking industry employs more than 140,000 women and men and thousands of additional jobs are directly linked to Wisconsin’s paper industry. New technologies and industry advancements have allowed Wisconsin’s papermaking to more than double in the past thirty years, nearly quadrupling paper and paperboard production in that time.
Wisconsin's paper industry creates approximately 5.3 million tons of paper annually, employs nearly 53,000 people, and is the number one paper producer in the United States.
In 1998, Wisconsin celebrated its Sesquicentennial - 150 years of statehood. Also celebrating 150 years was Wisconsin's paper industry which began operations in Wisconsin three months before Wisconsin became a state.
Papermaking in Wisconsin and around the world has a long and interesting history.