The Paper Maker's Shop
Wabash and Erie Canal Park Trail
— Wabash & Erie Canal Park Village —
Papermaking developed in China around 100 AD. The process is based on using any plant fiber or cellulose based material which has been processed (beaten) and mixed with water. Cotton, hemp and linen are commonly used. The hand dipping process eventually spread to Europe and was used for commercial purposes until the development of a machine technology using a cylinder mold in the early 19th century. Today over 90% of paper is made out of wood pulp.
Paper Mills were an important business during the canal era in Delphi. The mills were located on the Canal near the Blue Bridge and used water from the Canal to run power equipment. The mills are long gone but an interpretive panel is located at their original site next to the Blue Bridge.
The paper mills in Delphi made paper from rags. The mills paid 1.5 cents per pound for the rags. All types of paper was manufactured and sold including: writing paper, book and print paper, heavy brown wrapping and manila or lighter weight brown paper used for dry goods and drug stores. Newsprint paper manufactured here noted to be of “high quality" was sold to Chicago, Louisville,
The Dipping Method of Papermaking
Deckle and Mould
The mould is a frame with a screen stretched over it.
The deckle is held firmly on top of the mould and dipped into a vat of cotton fibers & water.
After dipping we see that the pulp has settled into the deckle and water is draining back into the vat.
The deckle is then removed
The mould is inverted in order to transfer the wet pulp onto a wool blanket.
The mould is lifted to show the pulp on the blanket.
Pigmented pulp may be squirted onto the wet sheet to create a more colorful sheet.
After several sheets have been made they are stacked between blankets and pressed to dry.
Marbleized paper also known as marbling, is a method of decorating paper through the use of "floating colors". Designs are combed into paint that has been applied to a prepared water solution. Both handmade paper making and paper marbling are demonstrated in the village.
A curious young student gets a little help after dipping the mould and deckle into a vat of cotton fibers and water. As soon as enough water drains through the mould the deckle will be removed and the mould will be inverted and hand pressed onto a wool blanket.
Come in and try your hand at papermaking and take home a colorful piece
Topics and series. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Education • Industry & Commerce • Waterways & Vessels. In addition, it is included in the Wabash & Erie Canal series list.
Location. 40° 35.517′ N, 86° 40.8′ W. Marker is in Delphi, Indiana, in Carroll County. Marker can be reached from the intersection of West North Washington Street and North Charles Street, on the right when traveling east. The marker is on the grounds of the Wabash & Erie Canal Conference & Interpretive Center. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 12252 West North Washington Street, Delphi IN 46923, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Cabin Homestead 1830s (here, next to this marker); Fouts Kitchen And Medical Plants Garden (here, next to this marker); The Cooper (a few steps from this marker); Education Along The Canal (a few steps from this marker); Broom Maker (a few steps from this marker); The Broom Making Process (a few steps from this marker); Canal Bridges (within shouting distance of this marker); Canal Village (within shouting distance of this marker). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Delphi.
Credits. This page was last revised on December 25, 2020. It was originally submitted on December 25, 2020, by TeamOHE of Wauseon, Ohio. This page has been viewed 54 times since then and 4 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3. submitted on December 25, 2020, by TeamOHE of Wauseon, Ohio. • Devry Becker Jones was the editor who published this page.