THE EMERGENCE OF THE PAPER PLANTATION: HISTORICAL GEOGRAPHIES OF THE PULP AND PAPER INDUSTRY IN MAINE, 1880 TO 1930.

Open Access
Author:
Clark, John Howard
Graduate Program:
Geography
Degree:
Master of Science
Document Type:
Master Thesis
Date of Defense:
None
Committee Members:
  • Deryck William Holdsworth, Thesis Advisor
Keywords:
  • historical geography
  • GIS
  • Maine
  • pulp and paper industry
  • industrialization
  • globalization
Abstract:
In the late nineteenth century the U.S. pulp and paper industry expanded into new forestry frontiers from core industrial regions along the eastern seaboard, eventually creating new industrial complexes that ranged across North America and beyond. Maine, which became “the paper plantation” as a result of the industrialization of the state’s forests by increasingly large pulp and paper corporations, provides a telling case study as it is representative of the northeastern states where the earliest iterations of expansion across the continent occurred. A historical GIS focusing on individual pulp and paper mills is constructed using Lockwood’s Directory of Paper and Allied Trades and is used to analyze spatio-temporal trends in mill development and corporate control. The roles of firms based in Bangor, Portland, Boston and New York are analyzed, as are differing business strategies. Mass production techniques are contrasted to establishing a specialty niche in the paper market. This analysis, blended with the traditional tools of historical geography, illustrates how ecology, technology and institutional arrangements combined to create geographical patterns of networked places and how the sequence in which these patterns evolved influenced subsequent iterations of growth.