Much of our lives are spent in the moment, we toil, we strive, we engage, we gossip, another month arrives we pay our bills and then we start over again.

Much of our society hasn’t the time or patience to consider who we are?, what we do?, where we come from?, where we have been? and where we are going?

The invention and the use of paper has allowed a portion of our society to read books and ponder where we have been and ponder where we might be going?

The invention of the printing press and mass paper production has had an effect on society.

It has pushed mankind exponentially, from once hunters and gatherers to agrarians and eventually to uplifting these reasoning hominids.

It would take time to ponder the meaning of our existence and it’s importance , just as elemental….. how to enhance it.

In the Middle Ages the educated, the Monarchies and the church often wanted strict regulations on paper and printing, it was seen as a threat to allow peasants the ability to think for themselves.

Our own society made reading a crime for black slaves.

Paper is the stuff that helps make books, words, type, font, ink and bindings, few ponder the way in which we transmit thought.

People began to read, more people began to read, reading help move science forward, reading helped societies communicate and transmit thought.

Eventually reading even became recreational.

In Colonial America we had few paper mills before the Revolutionary War of Independence.

Paper was in high demand and yet most of it came from the mother country and was taxed along with spice and yes TEA.

Colonial newspapers were taxed a ha-penny per page by Great Britain.

Newspapers and town cryers were the main form of communication at that time.

Great Britain was taxing our transmission of thought.

Newspapers struggled mightily to remain in business and the tax was burdensome.

Because of this newspapers became an important conduit of dissent in the colonies,……….they had a top production rate ( to produce a national conversation)… maximum capacity 200 pages per hour.
(These pages were small 6×9 inches approx.)

The colonial paper mills were hard pressed to find enough paper.

The newspaper was needed for creating an enlighten and emerging society. Newspapers were bent on engaging their intellectual capacities.

Paper played many parts in the emerging nation.

Two of the founding fathers Franklin and Hancock realized that the Declaration of Independence had to be written on a material better than colonial paper.

Colonial paper was crude and often times included bits of bark, wood chips and even a few insects, even though cotton and linen were the main ingredients.

The Declaration of Independence had to last longer, alas, parchment was used.

Parchment had served the pharaohs, it had served Kings and Queens throughout the ages , it could certainly serve this emerging nation.

Copies of this Declaration were disseminated to the countrymen and also abroad. They however, were printed on paper from Holland and Great Britain.

Leading up to the revolution our newspaper capabilities had to include paper, press, and type manufacturing.

All of this was quite limited and all were need for a healthy response to British aggression and domination.

As the war progressed paper was scarce and vital.

The (eventual) signers of the Declaration of Independence were using scraps of used paper to write their loved ones back home, while engaged in this pursuit of creating this “declaration”.

All the while PAPER was an elemental component to our fire arms.

The ball and powder were contained by a simple piece of scarce and valuable “paper”.

Paper was an essential part of the war effort.

In Mark Kurlansky’s book “Paper” he mentions that soldiers foraging for paper came across Benjamin Franklin’s house and found 2,500 copies of Rev. Gilbert Tenant sermon “ Defensive War”.

The kind pastor had yet to pay his bill.

Both books and a German Bible (that had yet to be bound) were seized and used for paper fodder in the firing of muskets against the British.

With or without the printed word, Paper secured a place of importance for this fledgling nation.


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