National Museum of Industrial History Restoring Rare Fourdrinier Machine

National Museum of Industrial History Restoring Rare Fourdrinier Machine

Eighteen-foot-long, 84-year-old model (built in 1933) is mechanically sound, but will require several months of cleaning, troubleshooting, and minor repairs, plus connections to utilities and a supply of pulp.  

The National Museum of Industrial History (NMIH), Bethlehem, Pa., USA, will soon be restoring to operation an extremely rare scale model of a fourdrinier papermaking machine. This 18-ft.-long model, built in 1933 by Rice Barton, was commissioned by the Franklin Institute in Philadelphia. It was a working display, producing paper for the Institute's print shop and sometimes hitting the road, being loaned to the New York Times and Milwaukee Journal, among others. 

After 18 years in storage, it is time to revive the model and employ it as the centerpiece of the museum's upcoming printing exhibit next spring. In conjunction with working printing presses over a century old, the papermaking machine will create a dynamic, interactive, and memorable experience for guests of all ages.

For 84 years old, the machine is mechanically sound, but will require several months of cleaning, troubleshooting, and minor repairs, plus connections to utilities and a supply of pulp. NMIH looks forward to working with the pulp and paper industry as it restores the machine and prepares an unforgettable and enlightening exhibit.

Those interested in supporting the restoration project or sponsorship of the print exhibit can contact Megan Pildis in the NMIH Development Office at 610-694-6636, or by email. mpildis@nmih.org

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