Karl F Landegger

Karl F. Landegger was truly a global pulp & paper industry leader. He was born in Vienna, Austria in January 1905. His early career was in Austria, where he was president and owner of Welser Paper Factory from 1930-1939. He then moved to England where he was president of Abergavenny Paper Mill in 1939-1940. He obtained control of Parsons & Whittemore, Inc. in New York in the early 1940s and subsequently obtained control of Lyddon & Co. Ltd. in the early 1950s. He developed the Parsons & Whittemore – Lyddon organization into one of world-wide stature.

In 1953 he launched the “packaged mill” concept providing all services for developing and operating pulp & paper plants in developing countries. This resulted in completion of 60 plants in 28 countries all based on using local raw materials including a variety of non-wood fibers such as straw, bagasse, reeds, grasses, bamboo, esparto, abaca, etc. as well as various wood species. He encouraged governments and private investors to see the rewards of having their own paper industries in these countries, many of which were unable to import adequate paper to satisfy their needs. He arranged the foreign financing required and even invested in many of the projects himself to facilitate the establishment of these plants’ followed by having his organization carry out the successful construction and operation of the mills and then turning them over to local owners.

In order to supply a major part of the machinery for these plants, he obtained control of Black Clawson in 1951 and built it into one of the world’s leading pulp and paper machinery companies. Many new products were introduced including the invention of the twin wire paper machine, the first paper machine over 300 inches in width, pressure screening, the Pandia digester for quick continuous digestion of non-wood fibers, and major improvements in waste paper recycling machinery.

He also founded and held controlling interest in five large market pulp mills, including Prince Albert Pulp, in Saskatchewan, St. Anne Nackawic Pulp & Paper in New Brunswick, Alabama River Pulp in Claiborne, Alabama, La Cellulose D’Aquitane in France and La Cellulose des Ardennes in Belgium.

Mr. Landegger contributed greatly toward the development of efficient pulp and paper industries in developing countries. He furnished equipment for the first mill to pulp eucalyptus in Brazil. He received decorations from the governments of India, Ethiopia, Tunisia, and Austria for his work in developing pulp & paper companies in those countries. As president of Parsons & Whittemore, Inc. he was presented by the Secretary of Commerce with the Presidents “E” Flag in 1963 for an outstanding contribution to the Export Expansion Program of the U.S.A. He was a founding member of the FAO (Food and Agriculture Organization) of the United Nations and of its ICP (Industrial Cooperative Program) in Rome.

Mr. Landegger was a very private person who went to considerable lengths to shield himself from personal publicity. He died 1976. His son, Carl C. Landegger was inducted into the Paper Industry International Hall of Fame in 2003. His son George Landegger, Chairman of the Board of Parsons & Whittemore, is also carrying on the family tradition with two family pulp mills, Alabama River and Alabama Pine Pulp.

Jori Eino Pesonen

Jori Eino Pesonen was born on August 21, 1925 in the city of Tampere, the industrial centre of Finland where he also went to school. In 1951, he earned his master’s degree in paper technology from the Helsinki University of Technology.

From 1951-1952, Pesonen worked as manufacturing and research engineer at Hallsta Pappersbruk in Sweden and from 1953-54 at similar positions in Canada at Anglo-Newfoundland Development Company and Anglo-Canadian Pulp & Paper Mills. In 1954, Pesonen returned to Finland from Canada and spent four years working with the team that was building a green-field newsprint mill (1954-1958), now known as UPM Kaipola. Later, Valmet (now Metso) hired him for two years as technical manager to erect and start their new newsprint machine at Cartiere del Timavo S.p.A. in Italy.

By that time the Finnish Kajaani Oy had decided to build their first modern paper machine; Valmet supplied the machine and Tampella, the grinder. Thus the next 14 years Pesonen spent in the little mill town Kajaani in northern Finland as technical manager and later as mill manager. He was also involved in building Kajaani’s second and third machines.

About 1974, Valmet hired him as general manager of the Rautpohja Works, home of their paper machine manufacturing. In 1980, he was promoted to head of the Wood Processing and Paper Machinery Group and in 1987 became President and CEO of Valmet Paper Machinery Inc. He retired in 1990.

Under Pesonen’s leadership, Valmet was transformed from a Finnish mid-size supplier to a leading global supplier of pulp and paper manufacturing machinery. During his tenure, Valmet delivered 97 new paper machines and conducted 76 rebuilds.

From 1974-76, Pesonen served as Chairman of the Finnish Paper Engineers’ Association, received the Stenbäck Plaquette in 1977 and was elected Honorary Member in 2002. He received the Finnish honorary title Industrial Counselor for extraordinary services in1987 and became TAPPI Fellow in 1990. He was a member of the German ZELLCHEMING, British Paper & Board Industry Federation and Canadian Pulp and Paper Association. He was also member of the Board of Directors of many other organizations.

Pesonen is married to Ritta Pesonen. They have two sons (Walter and Jussi) and a daughter (Eeva). Both sons work in the paper industry.

John Hinman

John Hinman was born in North Stratford, New Hampshire on October 2, 1885.

He received his college education at Dartmouth College where he received his Bachelor of Science degree in 1908.

John Hinman spent his entire career with International Paper. He joined the company in 1913 as a forestry district manager. In 1927 he became the general manager of International Paper Timberlands. A year later he was promoted to Vice President of International Paper. He became President of Canadian International Paper in 1935, and, eight years later, President of all of International Paper. He held that position for twelve years before becoming Chairman, International Paper in 1954. He retired as Chairman in 1961, but remained as Honorary Chairman and Director of Woodlands until 1962.

He was a passionate forester committed to the conservation of the company’s timberlands and launched massive reforestation programs. In an era when many companies practiced a “cut-out and get-out” strategy, he recognized that good forest management and a healthy forest products industry were codependent. He urged a multiple-use approach to forestry, the tenants of which clearly anticipated our current vision of sustainable forestry that has become formalized in our forest certification systems. His visionary role is illustrated by his 1948 remark, “once wood is reduced to a pure and stable chemical it provides the base on which chemist can build a hundred different products…..It is conceivable that the forests of United States and Canada within the next half century will supply us not only paper for many varied purposes….but also quantities of foodstuffs, alcohol, and chemical raw materials from parts of the wood which we are only beginning to use today.”

By the late 1940’s he more than doubled the company’s lands from 2.5 million to 5.8 million acres, while virtually eliminating its debt. He was among the first to recognize the industry’s growth potential in the United States South and moved quickly to position International Paper in that region. A strong supporter of innovation, Mr. Hinman established a research laboratory in Mobile, Alabama and a forest experiment station at Bainbridge, Georgia. Both of these units contributed significantly to the industry’s technology base.

Under his leadership as Chairman, International Paper experienced a period of unprecedented growth. International Paper started a dissolving pulp mill in Natchez, Mississippi that was the first to use 100% hardwood, and built a mill in Pine Bluff, Arkansas to produce newsprint, milk carton grades and lightweight white papers. He launched a multimillion dollar research program to develop a very successful plastic-coated milk carton. New liquid packaging and corrugated container plants were constructed and acquired. He led International Paper’s expansion overseas through joint ventures and acquisitions. By 1959 International Paper reached $1 billion in sales.

He was a forceful and dynamic leader who contributed significantly to the development of the industrial forest base in the United States South. His insight, force of personality, and strength of conviction made him an effective advocate for both responsible use of natural resources and responsible corporate behavior. Under his leadership, the International Paper Foundation was established to support educational development. The Foundation currently awards the John Hinman Teacher Fellowships in his honor.

He received honorary degrees from the Institute of Paper Chemistry through Lawrence College (now Lawrence University) in 1951 and Dartmouth College in 1957. In 1958 he received the Forest Farmer Award. He served as president of the American Pulpwood Association and American Forest Products Industries.

Mr. Hinman died on May 22, 1981 in Pelham, New York. He was married to Jennie C. Drew. They had four sons (Howard D., Dr. Crawford H., Edward D. and Richard H.), seventeen grandchildren and 14 great-grandchildren.

Johan Richter

Johan Richter was born in Liar, Norway in November 1901. He received his Master of Science degree in Engineering Design and Development from the Norwegian Institute of Technology (NTH), in Trondheim, in 1924. As part of his degree, Richter had his first engineering assignment with the Narvik iron-ore terminal where his father also worked.

After graduation from NTH, he spent four years in France as a mechanical engineer where he met his Norwegian wife-to-be, Astri. Richter was a cross-country skier and managed to make sure that his employment was in the mountainous areas. During the week, in France, he designed turbines and pumps; the weekends were dedicated to skiing, mountain climbing and the occasional ski-jumps.

He returned to Norway from France to join Thune Workshop, Norway, working on a bleaching system for what is now StoraEnso. In 1932, he lost his job at Thune Workshop due to the worldwide depression; on every street corner in Oslo, men were out of work. His unemployment was short lived. Knud Dahl of the nearby Myrens Verksted had heard of the promising young engineer and hired Richter to head up an organization called Kamyr with the responsibility to design, develop and market new machinery that would bring badly needed orders into the workshop. Kamyr was formed in 1920 as a partnership between the two workshops Myrens Verksted (part of Norway’s Kvaerner Group) and Karlstad Mekaniska Werksted (Sweden’s Johnson Group). It lay dormant until Knud Dahl employed Johan Richter.

In late 1930s, Richter invented and developed the Continuous Bleaching Process which was so successful that there was a frenzy of new installations around pre-war Europe, including mills in Austria, Poland, Hungry, and other parts of Eastern Europe. The first installation in the U.S.A for International Paper Co. was so successful that Kamyr received all of the company’s bleach plant orders in America.

Richter also invented and developed the Continuous Cooking Process. In 1940, Kamyr built a pilot digester in Kalix, Sweden to aid its development. As it turned out, developing the bleach plant was a piece of cake compared to developing the new digester. It took 10 years before the first commercial digester was successfully installed at the Fengerfors mill in Sweden producing about 30 tons per day compared to today’s chip-hungry digesters that cook up to 2500 tpd.

Richter became CEO of Kamyr AB in 1950 and from 1959-97 he was the Chief Technical Advisor to the Kamyr Group both in Sweden and U.S.A. and continued the development until 1997.

In 1958, Richter and his wife Astri moved to France where they lived for 22 years before moving back to Oslo, Norway. By moving to France, Richter was able to work from home for Kamyr AB but spent a lot of time traveling to Karlstad, Sweden as well as Glens Falls, New York, U.S.A. He was well over 90 when he left his advisory R&D post.

In the early 1960s, Richter guided the development of continuous counter-current diffuser that replaced the rotating washers in the washing systems as well as the bleach plants resulting in huge reductions in water consumption.

Richter’s strength included extreme hunger for innovation. He did not regard innovation as one-off event, but rather a process of systematic improvement and search for new opportunities. He was also a very effective salesman. A mill manager needing technical help requested Knud Dahl of Kamyr, “whatever you do, don’t send Richter here. I will only end up buying a new machine.”

With a lifetime of systematic innovations, Johan Richter shaped a business that was – and remains – ahead of the game. His contributions revolutionized the pulping and bleaching processes that became the basis of contemporary chemical pulping and bleaching technologies.

When he was 94 years old, with 754 international patents in the field of wood pulping equipment and processes, Richter was still puzzling over possible new and improved solutions. For his contributions, he received many prestigious awards including: Knights of the Norvegian St. Olavs Order; Swedish Academy of Sciences, Gold Medal; TAPPI Gold Medal, and Doctor Honoris Causa The Royal Institute of Technology (KTH), Stockholm. He also was elected Honorary member of the Norvegian Academy of Engineering Scientists.

Richter died on June 13, 1997 at the age of 96.

Cai Lun

Of the many inventions of ancient China, four have been given special honor. They are the compass, gunpowder, papermaking, and printing. Today we honor the Chinese invention of paper and honor one its foremost ancient champions.

The invention of paper clearly affects the world today, but providing the proper credit for ancient inventions is a difficult task. Nevertheless, the best information points to a servant of the Chinese imperial court, a eunuch named Cai Lun (sometimes spelled Ts’ai Lun), as the man who can be credited with the invention and innovation of paper in 105 A.D. In addition, Cai Lun took paper beyond being a technical invention and helped drive its widespread adoption such that it became a successful innovation, one that would stick, dramatically changed the world, and continues to be a major societal force.

In the fifth century, the Chinese scholar Fan Ye credited Cai Lun with the discovery of paper in his official history of the Han Dynasty, a golden era in Chinese History. He wrote “Intimes, writings and inscriptions were generally traced upon pieces of bamboo, or upon strips of silk… silk being costly and bamboo heavy these two materials could not be used conveniently. It was Cai Lun who conceived of the idea of making paper from the bark of trees, hemp waste, old rags and fish nets.”

In the book, The 100 – a Ranking of the Most Influential Persons in History by Michael H. Hart, Cai Lun (or Ts’ai Lun) is ranked as the seventh most influential person in history due to his invention or discovery of papermaking. That he was ranked above Gutenberg, Einstein, Pasteur, Galileo, Aristotle and others is truly significant, and it relates to the fundamental importance of paper to civilizations of the world.

Many inventions wither away into obscurity and fail to become lasting innovations until the right person with the right vision, means and connections comes along. Cai Lun with access to the Emperor, with a vision of the potential of the invention, and with the credibility to make a report that would gain imperial attention, was such a man. It is Cai Lun whom we can properly credit for successfully driving the innovation of paper into ancient Chinese and ultimately world history.

Cai Lun was born in Guiyang (modern day Leiyang). Despite his accomplishments, Cai Lun became involved in imperial intrigue, assisting the empress in dealing with a romantic rival for the emperor’s attention. When power shifted in 121 A.D., he was called to be judged for his role. Rather than appear for judgment, Cai Lun bathed, dressed in his finest robes and then drank poison, ending the life of the man who started one of the greatest inventions and innovations in history.

Barbaravan Van Lierop

Barbara van Lierop at her retirement in 2007, was principal scientist in the chemical pulping program at the Pulp and Paper Research Institute of Canada (Paprican). She has made significant contributions to bleaching research during her 33 year career with Paprican.

Van Lierop started her career at the Stora Enso Port Hawkesbury mill as a summer intern while pursuing a B.Sc. degree at Dalhousie University in Halifax, Nova Scotia. It was while completing a M.Sc. at McGill University’s McDonald Campus, she became acquainted with Paprican and joined the organization.

During her career, van Lierop has been associated with major changes in bleaching technology that arose from the need to address environmental issues. These developments at Paprican included the application of oxidative extraction in pulp bleaching and the use of oxygen, peroxide and ozone in both TCF and ECF bleaching, and part of a research team that is developing technologies to improve chlorine dioxide bleaching efficiency.

Van Lierop has played an important role in the transfer of these research technologies to mills, either directly or indirectly, through her participation in both the Pulp and Paper Technical Association of Canada (PAPTAC) and the Technical Association of the Pulp and Paper Industry (TAPPI) committee work.

She has made major contributions to PAPTAC. She served as chair of the Bleaching Committee from 1981-83. She later served as Councilor from 1994-96 and then chair from 1996-98. She received honorary life membership in 2004.

She has also made significant contributions to TAPPI. A member since 1979, van Lierop has participated on the Bleaching Committee and the International Pulp Bleaching Conference planning committee. In 1999 she received the Pulp Manufacturing Division Technical Service Award and the Johan Richter Prize, presented in recognition of outstanding contributions that have advanced the industry’s technology.

Other honors bestowed on van Lierop include the F.G. Robinson Committee Service Award in 1982; the Douglas Jones Environmental Award in 1990 and 1993; and the Howard Rapson Memorial Award in 2000.

And in 2007, van Lierop was awarded the distinguished John S. Bates Memorial Gold Medal in recognition of long-term contributions to the science and technology of the paper industry. She was named a TAPPI fellow in 2005, an honor bestowed on less than one percent of the organization’s membership.

Albert Bernard Weissenborn

Albert Weissenborn was born in Newark, New Jersey in 1863, a son of Henry and Maria Theresa Weissenborn. Albert’s father was educated in engineering by his father, a German blast furnace inventor. Henry came to the United States in 1848 at the age of 24, already experienced in the building of blast furnaces and flour mills. He built a blast furnace for the Bethlehem Iron Works. Henry and his engineer brothers Gustavus and Edward were employed by Mr. John Ericsson during the construction of the Civil War battleship “Monitor”.

Albert Weissenborn began his career in wire drawing as an apprentice at age 16. He began his inventive work on power looms during the 1880’s while at Cheney Bigelow Wire Works in Springfield, Massachusetts where he met his wife Eleanor. His early inventions for power looms are documented in 1890 mechanical drawings signed by Albert and verified by witnesses. In 1896 Albert joined his brother-in-law William Buchanan; his close friend and nephew, Gus Buchanan; and John Buchanan in founding the Appleton Wire Works. He initially served as superintendent. Albert’s wife Eleanor, whose father had been a master wire weaver and loom constructor in London, contributed her skill as a wire seamer in the early days of the company.

Among numerous inventions, his major one was the electro-pneumatic loom in which the loom was powered by compressed air and electricity. Prior to this invention, wire-weaving always demanded both technical skill and physical strength. This invention not only reduced the number of men needed to operate a loom, it also allowed less physically taxed workers to focus on quality and improved uniformity. Patents were granted in the US, France, and Germany. The wires produced by this invention yielded higher quality paper on the paper machines and the growth of Appleton Wire Works accelerated due to this development. The focus on quality was exemplified by the adoption of the company motto “Appleton wires are good wires” in 1907, just one year after his first patents were granted. He continued to refine loom design and was granted another patent in 1910. By this time, Appleton Wire Works had grown to be the second largest wire weaving plant in the country and the largest in the West. In 1912, Appleton Wire Works was restructured and a new 50-50 partnership was formed between Albert and his nephew Gus. Albert was president and manager and Gus Buchanan was secretary and treasurer. Albert continued designing, supervising and directing every detail of the manufacturing including the machine shop where equipment and parts were designed and built for the plant.

Albert Weissenborn was a prolific inventor whose contributions included loom design, wire drawing, annealing equipment, bobbin winding, pirn welding equipment and shuttle design. He was instrumental in the development of the technology of producing Fourdrinier wires. His improvements enabled the production of wider and longer lasting wires, leading to improved productivity in the paper industry. The power loom reduced the number of weavers per loom from two to one. However, at Appleton Wire Works, increased business provided work for the weavers. As an example, there were no layoffs during the Great Depression.

Albert Weissenborn served as President and Manager of Appleton Wire Works from 1912 until his death in 1938. During his tenure, the company became a leader not only in the Fox Valley, but across the United States.

He and his wife, Eleanor Gray, had one child, Annette, who married Roy Purdy. Their son, Albert’s grandson, Bruce Purdy, carried on the family tradition of engineering innovation and invention. Bruce Purdy was inducted into the Paper Industry International Hall of Fame in 2005.