Monroe County’s first world record
Monroe County Historical Association
On Easter Sunday in 1898, a special edition of the Stroudsburg Daily Times was printed, and in the process, a world record was broken. Only hours before, the paper used for the newspaper had been a living tree. It was all done to commemorate the Stroudsburg Daily Times’ fourth anniversary.
At 7 in the morning, two men from the Minsi Pulp and Paper Mill walked a short distance from the Mill to a poplar tree, axes in hand. Within a few minutes, the tree was down, and a team of horses pulled the timber to the mill. A second tree was felled, as two were needed in anticipation of the large number of newspapers that would be sold that day.
The trees were stripped of their branches, cut into two-foot lengths and debarked. The fresh timber was then placed into grinders that used large stones to crush the wood into pulp. After an hour in the grinder, the pulp was transferred to a refining machine that pressed out and extracted all of the water that had remained in the green timber. For the final step in the papermaking process, the pulp was shifted to a fourdrinier machine where it was further refined, pressed, dried and rolled onto rollers in sheets of uniform thickness.
By 9 a.m., the paper was ready to use. An employee of the Stroudsburg Times, along with his horse and wagon, was waiting at the mill to take the large roll of paper to the printing presses.
The total time it took for the two trees to be turned into printed and circulated newspaper was 8½ hours. The headline of the April 2, 1898, edition of the Stroudsburg Daily Times read, “From Living Tree to Finished Paper in Two Hours. Today’s news printed on paper made from trees starting at seven a.m.”
Two affidavits were taken by Justice of the Peace Robert Gruver on April 2, 1898, to prove this feat was true. The first affidavit read:
County of Monroe, Commonwealth of Pennsylvania:
Personally appeared before me, the subscriber, one of the Justices of the Peace of the aforesaid County, Wm J. Smith, President and J.H. Deery, secretary of the Minsi Pulp and Paper Company and Mr. E.S. Wolf, Foreman of the Mill, who, being duly sworn according to law, doth depose and say: that at seven o'clock this morning two poplar trees were chopped down and at seven-thirty the trees were barked and ready for the grinder and were made into paper at nine o'clock a.m. of the same day, the paper being made in two hours.
This paper was delivered to Geo. C. Hughes, the publisher of the Stroudsburg Daily Times, at 9:40 a.m., and further deponents saith not.
WM. J. SMITH, President
JOS. H. DEERY, Secretary
E.S. WOLF, Foreman
The second affidavit read:
County of Monroe, Commonwealth of Pennsylvania
Personally appeared before me, the subscriber, one of the Justices of the Peace of the aforesaid County, George C. Hughes, who, being duly sworn according to law, doth depose and say that the paper to be used in the issue of the “Daily Times” today, Saturday, April 2nd, 1898, is the same delivered to me by the Minsi Pulp and Paper Company at 9:40 a.m. this morning and further deponent saith not.
GEORGE C. HUGHES
The Stroudsburg Daily Times boasted that by completing this feat and by issuing the handsome 12-page newspaper, with an illuminated cover, the newspaper was technologically advanced and ready to serve the public.
Read about Monroe County’s second world record: Stroudsburg’s ‘Sheep to Suit’ Record
Thomas Kitson, owner of Stroudsburg Woolen Mill, had his eye on an unusual prize. He felt he could lower the world time record for manufacturing a full suit of clothing, beginning with shearing sheep and ending with someone donning the attire. At the time, the record of 8 hours was held by a mill in Scotland. On May 18, 1898, Kitson broke that record.