Charles Fenerty

Charles Fenerty, inventor (b at Upper Sackville, NS Jan 1821; d at Lower Sackville 10 June 1892). Concerned about the difficulty a local paper mill was having in obtaining an adequate supply of rags to make quality paper, Fenerty

Fenerty, Charles
Charles Fenerty developed the process by which paper is made from wood pulp (artwork by Irma Coucill).

Fenerty, Charles

Charles Fenerty, inventor (b at Upper Sackville, NS Jan 1821; d at Lower Sackville 10 June 1892). Concerned about the difficulty a local paper mill was having in obtaining an adequate supply of rags to make quality paper, Fenerty succeeded in producing paper from wood pulp as early as 1841. Fenerty's inspiration has been attributed to either a study of spruce fibres, influenced by the reports of Titus SMITH concerning its possible usefulness, or to his observation of how wasps made a form of paper from vegetable fibres; but most likely it came from perceiving that the fibrous matter formed by the constant friction of wood upon wood in the moving parts of sawmills could be used to make paper. Fenerty neglected to publicize his discovery until 1844, by which time others had patented papermaking processes based on wood fibre.