|Salaried Personnel (1922)
The 1920's were a transformative period
at the Hudson River Mill and within the Corinth community
as the residual effects of the 1921 Paper Strike lingered
throughout the decade. The process of assimilating the many
strikebreakers who ultimately sought to make Corinth their
home was complicated by the deep social and political divisions
within the community left in the strike's wake. Former strikers
who eventually managed to secure jobs at the Mill were forced
to work alongside, and sometimes as subordinates to, the very
men who had helped International Paper defeat the unions.
The Mill's salaried personnel, whose non-union status kept
them on the job during the entire conflict, suffered less
economic hardship than the strikers had to endure and might
have been the one group in the community least affected the
acrimonious climate created by the strike.
|IP Management Dinner (1921)
The heavy financial loses incurred
by International Paper after 1921 served as one measure of
the Company's cost of fighting the strike and installing open
shop conditions in its mills. Total Company revenues plummeted
from $22,000,000 in 1920 to just $1,113,519 in 1921, of which
only $134,465 came from mill operations. 1922 was worse year
financially, with IP reporting an net operating loss of over
$1,000,000. Not until 1923 did the Company begin to return
to profitability when $5,500,000 in total revenue was recorded
in its annual report to stockholders. Another measure of the
financial cost of the 1921 Paper Strike to International Paper
can be found in its stated cash surplus, which was reported
as almost $33,000,000 in 1920, but was less than $15,000,000
at the end of 1923. It was these publicly reported financial
losses that helped to energize the locals at the Hudson River
Mill in their belief that the 1921 Strike might eventually
|Nurses in First Aid Office (1927)
Workers at the Hudson
River Mill in the 1920's were the beneficiaries of an employee
welfare program instituted by International Paper in 1923.
International Paper hoped its efforts would assuage any developing
worker discontent and prevent the reemergence of the unions
in its mills. IP's version of "The American Plan"
of operations - an industrial strategy that was implemented
by numerous companies across the country in the 1920's - consisted
of employee benefits that included partially paid death and
disability insurance, nurse-staffed first aid facilities,
and the formation of Employee Mutual Benefits Associations
in each of its mills. Employees were also invited to serve
on committees that effectively represented a Company union.
An important component of the new face that the Company sought
to present to its employees after the 1921 Strike was its
new publication, The International Paper Company Monthly.
Begun in late 1923, each issue of The Monthly included
general Company news and featured short articles by employee
correspondents at each of its mills that were intended to
promote and preserve harmony between the Company and its workers.
The Hudson River Mill was featured inrichly illustrated articles
in 1924 and 1927.
A combination of shifting economics
and emerging market forces led to a decline in the production
of newsprint in America in the 1920's that directly effected
operations at the Hudson River Mill. Pulpwood resources in
the Northeast began to decline in the 1910's, particularly
in New York State where laws regulating the Adirondack Park
essentially set aside 3,500,000 acres as a "forever wild"
forest. American paper manufacturers increasingly turned to
Canadian forests for new timber resources, but emerging laws
in the Canadian Provinces soon placed restrictions on the
export of pulpwood to the United States.
Paper Machine Crew (1920)
International Paper President Phillip Dodge, frustrated by the inability of the Company to import pulpwood into the United States cut from its Canadian-owned lands, was also incensed by the refusal of the United States Congress to maintain a protective tariff on imported Canadian newsprint. While the Company by 1920 already owned or leased nearly 3,000,000 acres of Canadian forests for its pulpwood needs, maintaining a presence in the newsprint industry after World War I also required the construction of new mills in the Canadian provinces. Consequently, International Paper's move into Canada began in 1919 with the construction of a mill at Three Rivers, Quebec, a fully integrated newsprint production facility that would also manufacture its own mechanical and chemical pulp.
In addition to the relocation of the
newsprint industry to Canada that was underway, the conversion
of the Hudson River Mill from newsprint to specialty papers
was fueled in the 1920's by the increased demand for magazines
and catalogs. The conversion from newsprint to specialty papers
at the Mill, and ultimately to coated papers, was aided by
the development of a new bleached groundwood process that
allowed for the production of new grades of printing paper
whose quality was comparable to that produced by the more
costly chemical pulp process. These new groundwood papers
featured high opacity and were capable of handling color,
both characteristics that were required in modern publications.
The substantial production capacity of the Hudson River Mill's
groundwood plant and its lower operating costs made the Corinth
Mill the first of International Paper's existing newsprint
plants to be converted to higher quality specialty papers,
beginning in the late 1920's.
|Core Plant (1958)
The conversion process
began in 1929 with the rebuilding of No. 1 and No. 4 paper
machines and the installation of two, 145"-wide supercalendars
that could produce a finish on one-side of the paper. The
smaller No. 5, 6, 7 and 8 paper machines that remained from
the days of the Hudson River Pulp and Paper Company were converted
for specialty paper production in 1930. By 1931, a total of
eight paper machines with totally rebuilt Fourdrinier and
dryer sections were running specialty papers, and six supercalendars
were adding finish. A plant for bleaching sulphite pulp was
built in 1938, and the bleached groundwood mill was expanded
at the end of the decade. By the mid-1930's, the Hudson River
Mill had been fully converted to specialty paper production.
During the first
few decades of the 20th century another form of paper production
was begun at the Hudson River Mill. It was based on former
Mill superintendent Theodore Elixman's design for a paper
core that replaced the heavy steel cores that were being used
for paper shipped to customers. The cores were made of spiral
wrapped, heavy brown "core paper" with steel end
caps. After Elixman left the International Paper around 1905
to found his own paper core-producing company in downtown
Corinth, International Paper patented and produced a similar
paper core design, ultimately producing them at the Ft. Edward,
New York plant. When International Paper closed that mill
in 1937, core production facilities were moved to Corinth.
After 1937 the Hudson River Mill yearly produced as many as
8,000,000 feet of shipping cores for all of IP's Northern
Division Mills, as well as for outside customers.
The flood that wiped out the crib dam at Palmer Falls in 1913 also produced such significant damage downriver at Albany that it gave rise to a movement to control the waters of the Hudson River.
|Spier Falls Workers (1902)
The Hudson River
Regulating District was created in 1922, and by 1930 the twenty-nine
mile long Sacandaga Reservoir had been created by the damning
of the Sacandaga River, the largest tributary of the Hudson
that emptied into the River five miles north of Corinth at
Luzerne. While the campaign to dam the Sacandaga Reservoir
was advanced publicly as a means of reducing the flood threats
posed by the Hudson River each spring, the Sacandaga project
was part of a broader regional initiative to control the waters
of the upper Hudson River that received strong support by
hydro-electric interests, paper manufacturers, and other downriver
companies that used the Hudson for power. The management of
the Hudson River actually began with the building of a dam
at Spier Falls in 1903, and included the new dam at Palmer
Falls in 1913, the Sherman Island Dam in the 1920's, the Sacandaga
project in 1930, and Stewart's Dam built on the Sacandaga
River in 1951, just downriver from the Conklingville Dam that
created the Sacandaga Reservoir.
The Sacandaga Reservoir
was designed to impound the heavy spring run-off and then
release it over several months into the Sacandaga and Hudson
Rivers to power a new hydro-electric facility and to create
a predictable year-round flow downstream at the Hudson River
Mill and to mills further south. The end of the seasonal water
fluctuations on the Hudson was also a boon for the Hudson
River Mill for it allowed for the discontinuation of pulp
lap manufacture and storage, and led to the conversion of
the Curtis Mill from pulp manufacturing to hydro-electric
production. By 1938, the Curtis Mill housed ten 1000-watt
generators that produced electricity to help supply the energy
demands of the Hudson River Mill.
operations at the Hudson River Mill that required the production
of more electricity also demanded the production of more steam.
The Mill increasingly came to rely on large amounts of coal
and fuel oil to power boilers whose steam was needed for the
dryer sections of the paper machines and for producing sulphite
pulp. By 1943 the Hudson River Mill had installed its 8th
boiler with the capacity to produce 100,000 pounds of steam
per hour. And by the early 1960's, the Mill was consuming
23,000,000 gallons of fuel oil each year.
changes implemented in the 1930's had a direct and lasting
impact on the operations at the Hudson River Mill. The Mill
shifted from day operations to a twenty-four hour work day
schedule in the early 1930's as paper workers had to adjust
to the three-tour system that required employees to work the
11 PM-7 AM night shift for the first time. This change improved
the efficiency and productivity of the Mill by eliminating
machine "downtime" between startups, but the operation
of the Mill on the three-tour system also created life-changing
routines for both paper workers and their families. Nonetheless,
even during the darkest days of the Great Depression, the
Hudson River Mill still managed to operate at least three
days per week.
The conversion to high quality coated papers began at the Hudson River Mill in 1941 with the installation of a single, off-machine coater to produce papers that could be used for products like can labels and wallpaper. Off-machine coating technology was used until 1947 when the No. 2 paper machine was converted to coated paper production with the installation of an on-machine roll coater. The Hudson River Mill thus became the first of IP's mills to use this new roll-coating technology that was eventually replaced by on-machine blade-coaters.
River Pulp and Paper Company Building
The conversion of
No. 3 machine was begun in 1951, and No. 4 paper machine followed
in 1956 when the production speed of both machines was increased
from 800 to 1250 feet of paper per minute. At this time the
Hudson River Mill was the only International Paper Company
mill producing coated paper. Between 1947 and 1957 Hudson
River Mill machines Nos. 2, 3 and 4 produced a combined 562,000
tons of coated paper, most of it for mass circulation American
magazines. A plan for the further expansion of coated paper
production at the Mill was executed in 1957 when the No's
6 and 7 machines - installed by the Hudson River Pulp and
Paper Company in the 1880's - were removed and the towered
Hudson River Pulp and Paper Company structure built in 1888
was razed. In its footprint, a 500-foot long structure was
built to house a single paper machine.
In 1958 construction was completed on No. 11 paper machine, designed and manufactured by the Beloit Corporation and considered to be the state-of-the-art in coated paper manufacturing technology, capable of producing a 208-inch wide sheet at a speed of 2300 feet per minute.
Paper Machine (1958)
By the time Nos. 2, 3, and 4 paper machines had each been upgraded from roll to blade coating technology in 1964, the Hudson River Mill's 1650 employees were manufacturing 175,000 tons of coated paper each year. No. 10 machine was manufacturing 8,000 tons of wrapper and core paper, and the Mill's core plant was producing 8,000,000 feet of spiral wound paper cores annually. While in ensuing years these paper machines would be upgraded and a major Mill modernization program was completed in the 1970's, No.11 would be the last new paper machine installed at the Hudson River Mill.