Charles Fenerty : biography
Charles Fenerty (January, 1821. Charles Fenerty and his Paper Invention. Toronto: Peter Burger, 2007. ISBN 978-0-9783318-1-8 pp.14-15His date of birth still remains unknown. Though his tombstone says 1821, there is enough evidence to suggest that his birth year was 1820 (see: Charles Fenerty and his Paper Invention by Burger, Peter) – 10 June 1892), is a Canadian inventor who invented the wood pulp process for papermaking, which was first adapted into the production of newsprint.. Charles Fenerty and his Paper Invention. Toronto: Peter Burger, 2007. ISBN 978-0-9783318-1-8 (a biography on the life and times of Charles Fenerty, including his paper invention and his poetry)Charles Fenerty was the Canadian inventor of the pulp wood process, but at the very same time in Germany a weaver and machinist by the name of F. G. Keller had invented the process also (he is often referred to as the sole inventor because he took out a patent on the process). Fenerty was also a poet (writing over 32 known poems).. Charles Fenerty and his Paper Invention. Toronto: Peter Burger, 2007. ISBN 978-0-9783318-1-8 pp.89-169 He also did extensive travelling throughout Australia between the years 1858 to 1865 (living in the heart of the Australian gold rushes).
As a youth, Charles worked for his father in the family he worked in a farm.(something Charles did not like it). It would then be transported from neighboring lakes to Springfield Lake (where their lumber mill was located). The lumber would then be hauled into the mill and cut up. The Fenerty's would ship their lumber to the Halifax dockyards, where it was exported or used for local use (since Halifax was going through a "building boom" at the time).. Charles Fenerty and his Paper Invention. Toronto: Peter Burger, 2007. ISBN 978-0-9783318-1-8 pp.8-9. He had two brothers (he was the youngest boy), both of whom helped with the operations. Charles was also a farmer. The Fenerty's had around of farm land. They would ship most of their produce to the markets in Halifax. It was in his youth where he was inspired by both nature and poetry. His first (known) poem was titled * (later retitled as "Passing Away" and published in 1888). He was 17-years-old when he wrote it. It was about the decaying home (overlooking the Bedford Basin near Halifax) that was built decades prior by Prince Edward Augustus, Duke of Kent and Strathearn. The lodge was in poor condition, and was not occupied as Prince Edward return to England in August 1800.. Charles Fenerty and his Paper Invention. Toronto: Peter Burger, 2007. ISBN 978-0-9783318-1-8 pp.11-13 He would have had passed this home every time he hauled his lumber and produce to Halifax. But he would pass the local paper mills too.
In those days paper was made from pulped rags. It was a technique used for nearly 2000 years. And suddenly demands reached their peak, while rag supplies reached its all time low. Charles was very curious of how paper was made, and often stopped at these paper mills. There were many similarities between paper mills and lumber mills; something young Fenerty saw and experimented with. Demand for paper was so high that eventually Europe starting cutting down their shipments of cotton to North America. After seeing how paper is made and comparing it to the saw mills, it is not difficult to imagine how Fenerty got the idea (since the process is very much the same: fibres are extracted from the cotton and used to make paper). And Charles knew very well that trees have fibres too (from his relationship with the naturalist Titus Smith.. Charles Fenerty and his Paper Invention. Toronto: Peter Burger, 2007. ISBN 978-0-9783318-1-8 At the age of 17 (in c.1838) he began his experiments of making paper from wood. But 1844 he had perfected the process (including bleaching the pulp to a white colour). In a letter written by a family member circa 1915 it is mentioned that Charles Fenerty had shown a crude sample of his paper to a friend named Charles Hamilton in 1840 (a relative of his future wife).
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