William Kellett

Mr. Kellett was born in Neenah, Wisconsin, in 1899. Following his graduation as a chemical engineer from the University of Wisconsin in 1922, Mr. Kellett began working for Kimberly-Clark Corporation at the Atlas Mill in Appleton, Wisconsin. Moving rapidly into supervisory responsibilities, he was placed in charge of the Kimberly-Clark Experimental Mill in 1925. In 1930, he entered the consumer products division of the company and served as superintendent of the Niagara Falls, New York, mill. Mr. Kellet returned to Neenah in 1937 to become the manager of the two consumer products mills, Lakeview and Badger-Globe. He became the assistant general superintendent of all manufacturing operations in 1941. In 1942, he was named general superintendent.

After serving as a director, an assistant vice president, vice president in charge of manufacturing, and executive vice president, Mr. Kellett was elected president of Kimberly-Clark Corporation in Chicago, Illinois. He retired from that position in 1964 and remained a director until 1969.

During his 42-year career with the company, Mr. Kellett was dedicated to improving the performance of paper machines. He is credited with 12 different patents involving paper machine functions. A most significant contribution was his invention of a method of pressure forming to increase machine speed, which initiated the development of higher speeds in today’s high-speed tissue machines.

Mr. Kellett received an honorary doctor of science degree from the University of Wisconsin in 1965. He was described as an industrialist, a scientist, an educator, a citizen, and a humanitarian.

Also in 1965, then governor of Wisconsin, Warren Knowles, appointed him head of a committee on Improved Expenditure Management. Through Mr. Kellett’s ability to enlist people to become involved, 83 top-rated specialists from numerous Wisconsin companies were able to bring about a $500,000 savings for the state treasury. Always known as a “people person,” Mr. Kellet was also instrumental in bringing together 532 “business partners for more efficient government,” saving the state $34 million. In 1966, he was named chairman of Reorganization of Wisconsin State Government committee, and with the needed expertise, the number of state agencies was reduced from 96 to 28. In 1966, Mr. Kellett was appointed chairman of the governor’s Commission on Education. His achievements brought him the University of Wisconsin – Oshkosh Beta Gamma Sigma award, and he was named to the business society’s Hall of Fame.

At the age of 96, Mr. Kellett became one of the first honorees of the Paper Industry International Hall of Fame. At that time, he was living in his beautiful home on Winnefox Point at the mouth of the north branch of the lower Fox River on Lake Winnebago — a home he built in 1925. He died in 1997.

Richard Scudder

Richard B. Scudder was born in Newark, New Jersey, in 1913. He earned an honors degree in economics from Princeton University in 1935. Mr. Scudder worked as a reporter for the Boston Herald and for the Newark News before joining his father at the Newark Evening News, a newspaper founded by his grandfather. Mr. Scudder succeeded his father as publisher in 1952, a position he held until 1972 when the paper was sold.

The saga of Garden State Paper Company began in 1950, more than a decade before the first ton of newsprint made exclusively from old newspapers was produced at the company’s first mill in Garfield, New Jersey. Mr. Scudder was approached by a newsdealer who said he had a process that could deink newsprint. Mr. Scudder tried the process in the wash basin in his office, but, though once the ink was removed, not much of the paper remained. Testing of the process advanced to using a food blender in Mr. Scudder’s kitchen at home. Later, he moved his research to the more scientific proving grounds of Syracuse University and the Herty Laboratory in Savannah, Georgia.

After the laboratory work was completed, the testing scene shifted to outside mills. Although many in the paper industry in the late 1950s scoffed at the possibility of making quality newsprint from recycled newspapers, Mr. Scudder and his colleagues never considered it a risky venture.

When Garden State Paper Company was formed and began production in Garfield, New Jersey, in 1961, contracts for 45,000 tons of newsprint for future delivery had already been secured. After the Garfield mill, Garden State opened a recycled newsprint operation in Pomona, California, in 1967. In 1968, a joint venture with Field Enterprises, Inc. resulted in the opening of a newsprint mill in Alsip, lllinois. In addition, a fourth mill was built in San Lois Potosi, Mexico, and a fifth mill in Dublin, Georgia. Mr. Scudder is credited with personally selling all the newsprint that the original three mills initially produced. Under his leadership, Garden State Paper Company became the world’s largest recycler of newsprint into new newsprint.

Mr. Scudder has been recognized as the co-inventor of the deinking process — a process that is now used in the manufacturing of over two million tons of newsprint annually. For his role in that collaboration, he received the TAPPI award for outstanding technical achievement. As early as 1978, he was selected by The Paper Trade Journal as the “Papermaker of the Year.” In addition to being recognized for his role as co-inventor of the deinking process, Mr. Scudder was recognized for his contributions to resource recovery and environmental improvement. In 1974, Mr. Scudder and Garden State Paper Company were given the first American Paper Institute Environmental Award for Solid Waste Management. In 1971, he won the National Recycling Award from the National Association of Recycling Industries and was named the Resource Recovery Man of the Year in 1978. He was inducted into the Paper Industry Hall of Fame in 1995.

Mr. Scudder has served on the United States government’s advisory committee on Federal Policy on Industrial Innovation. He has served as director of the Environmental Action Coalition for New York City and was instrumental in forming the Committee for Resource Recovery in both New Jersey and California. He serves as a trustee of Princeton University’s Environmental Institute. For ten years, he was a trustee of Rutgers University and New Jersey State University. Mr. Scudder was awarded an honorary doctorate from Monmouth University.

In 1983, Mr. Scudder and W. Dean Singleton bought the Gloucster County Times, a newspaper in Woodbury, NJ, and soon thereafter the Salem Sunbeam in Salem, NJ. The purchase of several smallish papers in Ohio followed, and then purchase of the Sparks Newspapers–Hayward, Newark, Pleasanton and San Remo, California.

Since then the company has grown to be the sixth largest newspaper company in the United States, publishing four daily papers in Massachusetts, four in Colorado, six in New Mexico, three in Pennsylvania, twenty-four in California, two in Vermont, and one in Connecticut, Utah, and West Virginia. Altogether there are 49 daily papers and 92 weekly, total market coverage and other newspapers. Principle papers include the Denver Post, the Los Angeles News, the Long Beach Press Enterprise, the Connecticut Post, the Oakland Tribune and the Salt Lake Tribune.

Mr. Scudder was drafted into the Army at Fort Dix, NJ in 1941 and went to Officer’s Training School a year later. He also attended the army’s Advanced Counter-Intelligence School.

Attached to General Eisenhauer’s Supreme Command in Europe, he was instrumental in “Operation Anonymous”–an underground German language radio station which, unlike Tokyo Rose and other “black” radio stations was established for strategic purposes.

It had become known that German officers were sometimes making tactical decisions based on information from the BBC which consistently violated US censorship.To this end, “Operation Annie” reported the activities of the American Army with absolute accuracy with the intention to mislead them later.

Mr. Scudder was allowed to visit the War Room and 12th Army Group and, without censorship, write and broadcast in every detail the progress, or lack of it, of the American Army. It is believed that misinformation from the station directed German troops retreating across the Rhine to bridges controlled by the US Army resulting in the surrender of many thousands.

Mr. Scudder was awarded the Bronze Star and left the army as a Major.  (Mr. Scudder died in 2012)

John Kimberly

Mr. Kimberly was born in Troy, New York, in 1838 and moved with his family to Neenah, Wisconsin, when he was nine years old. Before moving west, he had obtained the rudiments of an education in the schools of Troy, and his education was completed in the pioneer schools of Neenah and at Lawrence University in Appleton, Wisconsin.

Always ambitious to begin a business, he quit school to turn his attention to commercial pursuits. He was identified with the dry goods trade until 1870, and for several years prior to that, he had interests in the flour and lumber trades.

In 1872, Mr. Kimberly and Havilah Babcock, who were partners in a general store, formed a partnership with C.B. Clark, a junior partner in a hardware store, and Franklyn C. Shattuck, a traveling salesman. Each man contributed $7,500 to capitalize Kimberly-Clark & Company and built the Globe Mill, the first newsprint mill in Wisconsin. In the first 25 years of its existence, the company expanded from one mill with a two ton-per-day capacity to 14 mills and a daily capacity of 150 tons.

During World War I, the company’s absorbent Cellucotton (made with the cellulose from wood pulp fibers, which is more absorbent) was used extensively overseas and in American hospitals by the Red Cross and the U.S. Army as a substitute for cotton. The company found greatly expanded usage for the product after the war. Its best known products are Kotex, Kleenex, and Huggies.

Mr. Kimberly was still president of the company in 1928 when he died in his ninetieth year. He had long outlived his partners. An obituary described him as “a man of national reputation as a businessman; keen in his commercial perceptions, broad in his grasp of the problems of humanity — perhaps these were among the prominent traits in the fine and strong character of J. A. Kimberly, who after a long and useful life passed to his reward last Saturday morning.”

Another tribute, written in The American Way, said of Mr. Kimberly, “He is an example of the free enterprise system at work. In his lifetime the fruits of his labors made him a man of wealth, but he did not lose touch with his fellowmen with whom he lived and worked.”

Mr. Kimberly and his wife, Helen Cheney Kimberly, had seven children. A son, James Cheney Kimberly, served as an executive officer of Kimberly-Clark Corporation for many years.

Johannes Van den Akker

Johannes A. Van den Akker was born in California in 1904. He received a bachelor of science degree in 1926 and a doctorate in 1931 from the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena. Between 1931 and 1935, he was an instructor of physics at Washington University for both undergraduate and graduate courses. He was also involved in research using newly-designed equipment.

The intention of Dr. Van den Akker’s doctoral and post-doctoral research was to prove or disprove the correctness of quantum theory in the domain of heavy metals and energetic photoelectrons. The important aspect of the study was the shape of the spatial distribution curves. The publications of his work satisfied his peers that the quantum theory is correct in applications involving x-ray photoelectrons.

The whole program of effort, both at Caltech and Washington University, proved to be of major importance, calling into play a new design of magnetic spectrograph (adapted to the newly-developed Geiger-Mueller tube, a measuring device that locates energy sources). As a result of his success in establishing the correctness of quantum mechanics, Dr. Van den Akker was included in World Who’s Who in Science — From Antiquity to the Present.

In 1935, Dr. Van den Akker was invited to chair the department of physics at the relatively-new Institute of Paper Chemistry in Appleton, Wisconsin. The stock market crash almost completely wiped out new job opportunities, and he considered it “prudent to accept a new and seemingly good opportunity when it came to one’s doorstep.” He chaired the department until his retirement in 1970. He was also chairman of the mathematics department.

Dr. Van den Akker’s fields of specialization included spatial distribution of x-ray photoelectrons; optical properties of paper; spectrophotometry and color measurement instrumentation of all properties of paper; and paper and fiber physics. He led seminal research and developed theories predicting behavior in vitally important industrial areas, such as super calendering; mechanical properties of individual pulp fibers; mechanical properties of paper webs; and optical properties of paper.

The theory development was largely Dr. Van den Akker’s personal efforts. The expansion of this theory and development of applications were done through collaborative research with a number of his students, through interaction with peers around the world, and through industrial contacts. His work has benefited most aspects of the paper industry, but particularly those in the high-grade printing and writing papers, because of his outstanding work in optical and strength properties.

Supercalendering technology was improved as a result of his work. The use and interpretation of data from fiber strength measurements, such as zero-span, have increased in value because of his work.

The understanding of and application of his theories have increased machine speeds and resulting economies available to the industry. More important, the applications of paper properties to a multitude of new product opportunities have resulted from the understanding generated by his theories.

In 1961 and ’62, Dr. Van den Akker was a Fulbright lecturer at the University of Manchester Institute of Science and Technology. Following his retirement in 1970, he became a research and development consultant for American Can Company from 1971 to 1982 and for James River Corporation from 1982 to 1985.

Dr. Van den Akker was a Fellow, American Association for Advancement of Science; Fellow, American Physical Society; Fellow, Optical Society of America; Fellow, Technical Association of the Pulp and Paper Industry; and a member of American Association of Physics Teachers.

He won the TAPPI Research and Development Award in 1967 and the TAPPI Gold Medal in 1968.

Dr. Van den Akker resided in Appleton with his wife, Margaret, until his death in 1999. He often related that his retirement years were the happiest period of his life. Also, he often could not resist commenting that his former classmate, Carl Anderson, who worked in a similar field, discovered the positive electron around 1931 and was a Nobel Laureate in 1936.


Jaako Pöyry

Dr. Jaakko Pöyry was born in Finland in 1924. He received a master of science degree in mechanical engineering from Helsinki University of Technology in 1948.

Dr. Pöyry has made many significant contributions to the development of technology and economics in the pulp and paper industry during more than three decades of activity in the field. He has been a design engineer and executive in the pulp and paper machine business. In 1958, he became founder and leader of what was to become the world’s largest consulting engineering firm serving the pulp and paper industry. He built his firm from a two-man business into a global company with a staff of 4,500 located in 25 countries, including Sweden, United Kingdom, France, Germany, the Netherlands, Spain, Portugal, Russia, Brazil, Argentina, Chile, Thailand, Indonesia, Australia, New Zealand, and the United States of America.

Under the leadership of Dr. Pöyry, the Group has acquired a thorough knowledge of every aspect of the pulp, paper, and other forest products industries worldwide. It has carried out over 6,000 assignments in 100 countries, including some 300 major mill design projects involving basic and detailed engineering, project management, start-up, and operation services. Dr. Pöyry has been personally responsible for directing over fifty of these mill projects. The Group also has extensive experience with special studies, as well as forestry, management, environmental control, market research, and other services.

Dr. Pöyry, who speaks Finnish, Swedish, English, and German, has frequently acted as an advisor for forest products industries in developing countries and for governments and international agencies around the world. He has provided advice and counsel to many of the world’s political leaders, including President George Bush, Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, and former Soviet leader, Mikhail Gorbachev.

In 1978, Dr. Pöyry performed the complete engineering work, including wood supply planning and construction management, for the giant Aracruz Cellulose project in Brazil, the world’s biggest single line pulp mill. The $600 million mill was the largest investment ever made for the pulp and paper industry in the southern hemisphere. Dr. Pöyry also engineered the mill’s expansion in 1991 to one million tons per year. He also oversaw the creation of the firm’s unique and comprehensive data base bank, which the company uses to develop numerous systems for industrial economics, mill optimizations, market research, and other activities relating to improving pulp and paper mill performance.

Dr. Pöyry has been a member of TAPPI since 1954; he was elected a Fellow in 1975. He is also a member of the Finnish Paper Engineers’ Association; the Engineering Society of Finland; the Finnish Association of Consulting Engineers; the Swedish Association of Pulp and Paper Engineers; and the Brazilian Pulp and Paper Technical Association. Dr. Poyry received the Export Prize for 1967 from the president of Finland, recognizing the outstanding exports resulting from his work. In 1971, he was recognized by the Engineering Society of Finland for his work in the field of technics, and he received the Finnish Paper Engineers’ Association’s Lampen Gold Medal. The Association of Finnish Entrepreneurs honored Dr. Pöyry with the Plaque of Award in 1974.

In 1994, TAPPI honored Dr. Pöyry with the Gunnar Nicholson Gold Medal award, the highest honor that the association can bestow upon an individual for preeminent scientific and engineering achievements in the world’s pulp, paper, board, and forest product industries. The award was accompanied by a cash prize of $63,800 made possible by a gift to TAPPI from the late Gunnar W.E. Nicholson, who was a leader in the industry and TAPPI for nearly five decades.

Dr. Pöyry remarried in 1984 and has two daughters. He devoted as much time as possible to his family, and he enjoyed golf and tennis. He died September 8, 2006.


Elis Olsson

Mr. Olsson was born in Sweden in 1880. He earned a degree in chemical engineering from the Technical College of Orebro in 1899. Additional professional fields of specialization included management and forest management. Between 1906 and 1918, he worked for West Virginia Pulp & Paper Company, Union Bag Paper Company, Oxford Paper Company, and Brompton Pulp & Paper Company.

Always interested in the possibilities of making pulp from the plentiful and inexpensive southern woods, Mr. Olsson had successfully experimented using his own methods. In 1918, he persuaded others to join him in organizing Chesapeake Corporation in West Point, Virginia. It was the first successful kraft mill in the south, both operationally and financially. Between 1921 and 1935, Mr. Olsson was granted five patents.

Mr. Olsson played a major role in introducing the sulfate pulpmaking process to the United States; he held several U.S. patents concerning the process. Several processes he developed were introduced at Chesapeake’s mill, including the use of waste by-products for generating high pressure steam and electric power.

Under his direction, Chesapeake’s mill was completely redesigned. He added state-of-the-art equipment, much of which was new to the pulp and paper industry in this county, including one of the first Kamyr pulp-drying machines installed in the U.S. (which created 4’x4′ sheets of dried virgin pulp). In 1930, a 242-inch wide Fourdrinier paper manufacturing machine was installed — it was the largest and most modern in the world.

During Mr. Olsson’s tenure, Chesapeake achieved the distinction of being one of two pulp mills in the country to earn enough to pay income tax in 1931 and 1932. Pulp production of less than 20 tons per day and assets of $504,825 in 1918 grew to 700 tons per day and assets over $33,000,000 in 1959.

Mr. Olsson achieved international stature among the innovators and engineers of the sulfate pulpmaking process. His grasp of industry problems and willingness to share his knowledge in the effort to overcome them frequently found Mr. Olsson serving his peers as a consultant. His contributions advanced the art of papermaking for over half a century and helped revolutionize the industry. In recognition of his highly-significant accomplishments and contributions to his native Sweden, H.M. King Gustav V bestowed on him the honors of Knight of the Royal Order of Vasa in 1941 and Commander, Second Class, Royal Order of Vasa in 1949.

In 1944, Mr. Olsson was credited with founding the Fourdrinier Kraft Board Institute, which immensely improved the standards, market research, and statistical reporting of the industry. He was one of the leaders who successfully established the Southern Kraft Board Industry. Mr. Olsson was also instrumental in founding Southern Pulpwood Conservation Association; Virginia Forest, Inc. (now The Virginia Forestry Association); American Forest Products Industries; American Society of Swedish Engineers; Swedish Engineering Society; and the Technical Association of the Pulp and Paper Industry.

Long before the issue became critical, Mr. Olsson was concerned about the future supply of pulpwood. Forest management practices were established in 1915 and a seed nursery began in 1916. As early as 1922, Chesapeake began the policy of leaving seed trees to ensure natural reproduction on cut over company land. Mr. Olsson was personally interested in forest management and planted pines on the property of his home. It became a showplace of forest management, as well as a laboratory for experimentation by Chesapeake.