OLG and DCRT
Strategic Plan
2014-15 through 2018-19

         

Did you know?
Introduction Section 1:
Cultural Assumption
Section 2:
Ethnographic Record
Section 3:
Plagiary
Section 4:
Political Instrument
Section 5:
History
Section 6:
Art & Craft
Section 7:
Papermaking
Biographies of Mapmakers & Artists Bibliography

Many people find it remarkable that maps have survived for over three or four hundred years. Most early maps were printed on strong, thick, paper handmade in France, Germany, Switzerland, and, after 1610, England; the finest paper came from northern Italy. The size of paper on which maps were printed was determined by the size of the printing press. Large maps were made by individually printing the sheets and then gluing them together.

Paper was first made in Asia about two thousand years ago, and the art of papermaking evolved gradually. More than a thousand years passed before it was introduced into Europe during the thirteenth century. There, paper was produced almost entirely from linen and cotton rags pulped in water. Papermaking required a long and often expensive apprenticeship. Workers were frequently sworn to secrecy because no craftsman wished to share knowledge with competitors.

After pulped fibers were thoroughly mixed in a deep vat, a wire mesh tray was dipped into the mixture and a sufficient amount lifted out to yield the required thickness of paper. A wooden frame called a deckle fitted over the tray to form a raised edge and prevented the watery pulp from escaping. Pulp flowing between the frame and the deckle produced an irregular feathery edge around the paper hence the term "deckle-edged" paper. As soon as possible the newly formed sheet of paper was removed from the tray and placed between two pieces of felt. The paper-and-felt "sandwiches" were then pressed to remove surplus water and the paper hung to dry.

drawing of Women grading and sorting cotton
click for larger image
Reproduced from Denis Diderot's Encyclopedie
1767
Women graded and sorted cotton and linen rags according to quality.

Gift of Friends of the Cabildo

 

drawing of sorted rags being broken down by hand
click for larger image
Reproduced from Denis Diderot's Encyclopedie
1767
Sorted rags were broken down by hand-stamping the fibers.

Gift of Friends of the Cabildo

 

drawing of stamping machines reducing rag materials into usable fibers for paper making
click for larger image
Reproduced from Denis Diderot's Encyclopedie
1767
Stamping mechanism used to reduce rag materials into usable fibers for papermaking.

Gift of Friends of the Cabildo

 

drawing of dipping frames and molds
click for larger image
Reproduced from Denis Diderot's Encyclopedie
1767
A vat man prepares to dip a paper mold into pulped fiber while the workman to the right drains excess water from a dipped frame. Heavy presses used to remove the remaining water from the paper are in the background.

Gift of Friends of the Cabildo

 

drawing of a drying loft full of paper sheets
click for larger image
Reproduced from Denis Diderot's Encyclopedie
1767
Women and a male apprentice at work in the drying loft. After pressing, the paper sheets were hung to dry on ropes woven from cow or horse hair.

Gift of Friends of the Cabildo

 

drawing of newly made paper being pressed for a final time in the paper making process
click for larger image
Reproduced from Denis Diderot's Encyclopedie
1767
Newly made paper is burnished to remove unevenness and pressed for a final time.

Gift of Friends of the Cabildo