Part II: How did Glatfelters get involved in Spring Grove papermaking?

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Spring Grove, Pa., papermaker Glatfelter makes many types of paper at its many plants, including coated paper that allows the USPS cancellation equipment to print with self-stick adhesive. The first product coming from the York County-based papermaker’s mill was newsprint. Also of interest: A leading York County name: ‘Keeping it in family is the Glatfelter way’ and Private, public interests built Lake Marburg for manufacturing, recreation and P.H. Glatfelter and S. Morgan Smith head list of York County industrial movers and shakers.
Once upon a time – about 150 years ago – Glatfelter’s Spring Grove mill made newsprint, the paper upon which newspapers and handbills were printed on.
In the past 20 years, Glatfelter has made headlines for providing paper for high-profile books – David McCullough’s various best-sellers and the Harry Potter series.
Now, as a recent York, Pa., Daily Record/Sunday News story and photos show, the papermaker’s geographically widespread plants make paper equally widespread purposes: Post-it Notes, playing cards, Crayola crayons, popcorn containers, flour bags, to name a few.
But it’s the newsprint piece that brings forth a mystery… .


The mystery is framed by the question: Did Glatfelter have a hand in the election of Abraham Lincoln as president?
Tradition has it that handbills promoting Lincoln’s candidacy for a second term were printed on Spring Grove-made Glatfelter paper.
Super sleuth and Yorkblogger Scott Mingus, whose day job is Glatfelter’s global director of new product development says the company searched its archives to see what it could find to corroborate the story, but came up blank.
“It could easily have happened, however, as the timing fits, and most political broadsides were printed on newsprint by newspapermen,” Mingus told the York Daily Record/Sunday News. “That was Glatfelter’s initial target market.”
Also of interest:
- P.H. Glatfelter I to George Glatfelter II: 5 generations of Spring Grove papermakers.
-Glatfelter family history is as clear as … paper.
How did Glatfelters get involved in Spring Grove papermaking?
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About Jim McClure

Editor of the York Daily Record/Sunday News, ydr.com and its many digital products. East Region Editor, Digital First Media. Journalism/history blogger: yorktownsquare.com. Author or co-author of seven York County, Pa., history books.
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