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UD Special Collections > Exhibitions > Little Known Histories of Newark, 1758-2008

Early Manufacturing

Curtis & Brother, proprietors of Nonantum Paper Mills, established in 1848, employed 100 men and women, and produced 22,000 pounds of paper per day in 1901. Curtis continued and was built upon the site of the Meeter (Mateer, Meeteer) Mill, Newark's earliest industrial site. The Curtis paper mill produced the highest grade papers and was world-renowned for its product. Crown Investment Group bought the mill and shut down production in December 1997. The City of Newark, which now owns the site, razed the building in November 2007, but its landmark smokestack remains.

(Paper Mill Bridge)
Postcard of Paper Mill Bridge,
Newark, Delaware.
Delaware Postcard collection.

William Penn, Governor of Pennsylvania, patent for land on the White Clay Creek to John Ogle, 1684. This land was the future site of the Meeter Mill (established before 1798) and Curtis Paper Mill (established 1848). Parchment with wax seal.
Wilson family papers.
Gift of Elizabeth E. Wilson

Enlarged image of a postcard of Paper Mill Bridge, Newark, Del.
Delaware Postcard collection.

Photograph of a field near Newark, probably west of Chapel Street, above the White Clay Creek. This pastoral image of a grazing foal shows the Paper Mill Road covered bridge with the Dean Woolen Mill in the distance, late 1880s.
Powell family photographs.
Gift of Walter R. Powell

Curtis gazette. Newark, Del. : Curtis Paper Company, February 1945.

Curtis papers for fine printing [sample book] / Newark, Del. : Curtis Paper Company, 1960.

Largest vulcanized fiber company in the world, American Vulcanized Fiber Company, 1901)
"Largest Vulcanized Fiber Plant in the World,"
American Vulcanized Fibre Company.
Newark, Delaware, Board of Trade invites industries, E.P. Crowell,
Newark, Del.: Newark Board of Trades, 1901.

The Casho Machine Company, owned and operated by Alexander Wilson, manufactured agricultural tools and equipment for Newark farms and businesses in the early to mid-nineteenth century. The business records and trade ephemera available in Wilson's papers reflects a network of interdependent manufacturing concerns in the greater Atlantic region, from Boston to North Carolina, each producing goods necessary to the operation of the others. Their exchange of goods was made possible by the railroad, which also figures prominently in the correspondence and receipts.

Internal Revenue License, May 1864, for the Casho Machine Company, with checks from the National Bank of Newark, correspondence, and receipts from the Philadelphia, Wilmington & Baltimore railroad, 1856.
Alexander Wilson papers.
Gift of Mrs. Sara W. Slack

(Woolen Mill employees, 1882)
Photograph of Joseph L. Dean & Son's Woolen Mill
employees, March 28, 1882.
UD Photograph collection.

The men, women, and children employed at the Dean Woolen Mill, mercifully, were at home Christmas morning, 1886, when a fire broke out and quickly consumed the combustibles in the mill. Located on the White Clay Creek opposite the Curtis Paper Mill, the devastated site was later occupied by the American Hard Fibre Company in 1894 and then the National Vulcanized Fibre Company, which was in operation there until 1991. The property has since been repurposed as mixed restaurant (Timothy's), retail, office, and residential space.

Photograph of Joseph L. Dean & Son's Woolen Mill employees, March 28, 1882.
UD Photograph collection.

"Largest vulcanized fiber plant in the world," American Vulcanized Fibre Company, from Newark, Delaware, Board of Trade invites industries : free land, no taxes / compiled by E.P. Cowell. Newark, Del. : Newark Board of Trade, 1901.

Postcard of the Continental Diamond Fibre Company, Newark, Delaware.
Delaware Postcard collection.

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