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© 1997 – May 2022

The Legacy Press

Ann Arbor, Michigan USA


The Legacy Press


Books about the Printing, Paper, and Bookbinding Arts

Now Available!

Reams in the Desert

Papermaking in Utah, 1849–1893



Richard L. Saunders

* * * * *

Reams in the Desert is the first book to explore the complete story behind the West’s pioneer attempt at paper production. The unlikely site was a desert valley in northern Utah. Paper had been made commercially in the United States for well over a century by the time that the first paper made west of the Mississippi River emerged from the vat. Complicated by isolation, the story of Utah’s small and short-lived paper industry stands as one of the few success stories of Latter-day Saint-sponsored “home manufacture.” Even so, Utah’s paper “industry” became a casualty of economies of scale that characterize the industrial age. Commitment and make-do provided a basis, but available investment, limited production capacity, and small markets imposed limits on what could be sustained. Drawing on primary sources and a deep study of the product itself, Dr. Saunders explores the personalities, sacrifices, and decisions driving Utah’s four-decade experiment with paper production.

The appendix by paper historian Cathleen A. Baker provides a description of the pulping technologies, as well as hand and machine papermaking methods and equipment in use in the Utah mills.

196 pages    •    58 images    •    full color    •    2021    •    9 x 6


softcover    •    ISBN 9781953421074    •    2021    •    $25.00



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