Paper Museum In Atlanta

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You probably will not find much information about this museum in Atlanta guidebooks or travel magazines… The Robert C. Williams Paper Museum (or American Museum You probably will not find much information about this museum in Atlanta guidebooks or travel magazines… The Robert C. Williams Paper Museum (or American Museum of Papermaking) is located at the Georgia Institute of Technology.


Established in 1939, the museum is a unique resource where you may find a lot of interesting information about the history of paper and paper making technologies. This is a must-see place for every artist or graphic designer!

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The museum is filled with various artifacts representing the art of papermaking. A remarkable collection of watermarks, papers, tools, machines and manuscripts is truly impressive.

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Rice paper, abaca paper, bamboo paper… These ancient papermaking technologies have been developed over a thousand years ago.

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The original museum was created by Dard Hunter (1883 – 1966), who was known for collecting papermaking tools and manuscripts. The photo above shows one of his limited edition books devoted to the history of papermaking.

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The museum is also a great place to learn something new about the history of printmaking (wood block printing, etching, etc.)

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Ancient Chinese seals and stamps.

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Chinese and Japanese books, paper money and wooden printing plates.

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The history of watermarks is my favorite part of the exhibition. European papermakers were the first who used them in the early 14th century.

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The museum’s collection of watermarks consists of over 10,000 pieces. Light and shade watermarks are formed from relief sculptures impressed into the woven wire fabric of the paper mold.

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Wire watermarks are formed by attaching a wire pattern to the mesh of a paper mold. When the paper slurry is drained of its water, the layer of residual fibers over the raised wire pattern is thinner than the rest of the sheet. When pressed and dried, these thinner areas result in patterns that only show clearly when held up to the light.

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Hand papermaking artworks created by contemporary artists.

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Recycling in the paper industry: paper can be recycled only 5 to 8 times before the fibers in the paper become too short and weak to be reused.

The Robert C. Williams Paper Museum website

Chocolate Dreams

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Vintage cocoa tins, chocolate boxes, trading cards, magazine ads, promotional fans and shop signs… This charming exhibition at the Mingei Museum (San Diego) tells us the story of a company that was, for years, the largest and most prominent chocolate maker in the U.S.


Huyler’s, Inc. was the first confectioner in the United States to employ large-scale advertising to market its products. The use of illustrated trade cards and beautiful containers allowed the company to become market leader in America during its first fifty years.

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John S. Huyler was conscientious and thoughtful candy maker. From humble beginnings he had created an enormous and very successful business.

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A customer would first choose a container he or she wished to purchase, and then hand-pick a selection of chocolates with which to to fill it. Huyler’s, Inc. was one of the first American confectioners to employ artists to design beautiful boxes and tins. Some customers even collected them.

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Late Victorian and early 20th century Americans used certain flowers to convey specific romantic messages. That’s why various floral designs were very popular.

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Many clever designs were used in creating containers for Huyler’s candies. My favorites are a pocket watch and a leather suitcase…

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Children were a natural target market for Huyler’s products. Boxes shaped as dolls held hidden candies while wooden puzzles and storybooks created added excitement. 

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The period of the late 19th century and early 20th century was the first time in American history when women began to have their own voice outside the home. Portraits of contemporary women were featured on candy boxes, fans and even small pocket mirrors.

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Collecting trade cards became so popular that Huyler’s printed special albums for the purpose.

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Placed in boxes of Huyler’s chocolates and handed out freely to customers, lithographed trade cards were a popular and successful means of advertising in the late 19th century. 

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At a time when most Americans could not afford buying fine art for their homes,  these colorful cards rapidly became collectors’ items, ending up in frames and albums.

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Various promotional products included brochures, calendars, as well as birthday and engagement books.

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Huyler’s promo products and trade cards were distributed throughout the United States and Canada by thousands of sales agents.  

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Decorated shop windows were always a particular treat for children at Easter, when an abundance of silk and paper eggs spilling over with candies and chocolate lured customers in from the street.