William Morris and the Arts and Crafts Homes

The Geo. C. Gill Paper Company

The Geo. C. Gill Paper Company.

        This company was formerly called The Chemical Paper Company No. 2, and was formed July 3, 1891, but changed to its present style, May 1, 1892, owing to the confusion caused by having two corporations of practically the same name in the city.
        The mill was built for the Winona Paper Company, but was thrown on the market after the failure of the Winona in January, 1891, and was sold under foreclosure of a mortgage by the Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Company and the Holyoke Water Power Company to Geo. C. Gill for Moses Newton and other, June 9, 1891.
        Repairs and a general overhauling commenced at once under the personal supervision of Mr. Gill, and on July 3, the first meeting of the stockbrokers was called, and the name chosen of "The Chemical Paper Company No.2." This name was taken as the Chemical Paper Company held a large block of the stock and the two mills were to be so closely identified, having practically the same officers, Moses Newton, president; George C. Gill, secretary and treasurer of both companies. James Kirkham is vice president and these gentlemen, with Henry S. Hyde and L.J. Powers of Springfield, constitute the board of directors, and with Geo. E. Crafts agent, make the entire list of officers.
        Mr. Robert W. Allan assumed charge of the mill as superintendent early in July, 1891, and with his untiring efforts, taken together with careful and close management, it is now generally recognized as the leading mill of its kind in this country.
        The mill has ten mill powers, five permanent and five non-permanent, is fully equipped with a steam plant to use in case of a short water supply at any time, which can be started up at a moment’s notice.
        It has, in addition to three smaller ones, a sixty-inch Hercules water wheel, which, of itself, is capable of swinging the entire mill with ease, and which is so powerful that when the other mills on the same canal are either shut down, or else running partially by steam when troubled with back water, this wheel swings the mill so easily and nicely that back water is never thought of. The general plan of the mill is such that it can be handled very easily, the storeroom being so convenient to the place of working all the grades of stock.
        The product of the mill is fine writing papers, twenty tons per day of flat and ruled goods, making it the largest mill of its kind in the city.
        One of the most interesting things seen in walking through the buildings is the large air-drying machine, which not a few authorities maintain to be a great advance on the lofts used in the average fine mills and they predict that these lofts will soon become obsolete. This machine has a size tub and size rolls at its head, and after the paper goes through a bath of hot sizing the full width of the roll, it is taken over a line of 120 skeleton dryers, inside of which is a fan running in the opposite direction of the paper and outside sections of the dryer is going. This fan conducts hot air to the paper and is increased in temperature as the paper goes from one dryer to the next, until at the end of the machine the paper is better and more evenly dried than if hung up on poles, a dozen sheets or more on top of each other. The even drying is such a benefit to the color and general appearance of the paper, that it is eagerly sought for all over the country. It might be added that at the present time, this is the only machine of its kind in the country, though they have been in successful operation in Scotland and England for years.
        George C. Gill, after whom the company was named, bought a controlling interest in this company in February, 1892. Mr. Gill was born in Hinsdale, Berkshire county, Mass., February 10, 1858, and after graduating at the high school, took a course of study at Carter’s Commercial College of Pittsfield, at that time a well-known school, after which he took a business course at Wesleyan Academy, Wilbraham. He is director of the Chemical Paper Company, and also a director of the Platner & Porter Paper Manufacturing Company of Unionville, Conn. He is a practical paper maker, having spent two years in a special study of paper making in all its branches, from the rag room to office, in the ill of the Chester Paper Company at Huntington, Mass. He came to Holyoke February 17, 1882, as bookkeeper for the Chemical Paper Co., and in 1892, when he sold his stock, was its treasurer and the largest individual stockholder but one.

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