Chesapeake: Pioneer Papermaker: A History of the Company and Its Communityby Alonzo Thomas Dill

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  • North Carolina Office of Archives and History

    Chesapeake: Pioneer Papermaker: A History of the Company and Its Community by AlonzoThomas DillReview by: James F. DosterThe North Carolina Historical Review, Vol. 46, No. 2 (April, 1969), pp. 195-196Published by: North Carolina Office of Archives and HistoryStable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/23518127 .Accessed: 13/06/2014 00:44

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  • Book Reviews 195

    seem to understand that if the Court had not taken note of the con

    gressional attitude, it might have been subordinated, and that then a

    permanent alteration in the American system might have occurred.

    T. Harry Williams

    Louisiana State University

    Chesapeake: Pioneer Papermaker: A History of the Company and Its Community. By Alonzo Thomas Dill. (Charlottesville: University Press of Virginia, 1968. Illustrations, notes, appendixes, bibliography, index. Pp. xx, 356. $8.50.)

    The Chesapeake Corporation is a major producer of kraft pulp,

    paper, and paperboard, and its operations have throughout its history been centered in West Point, Virginia, on the York Estuary. There in

    1914 the Fox Paper Company of Lockland, Ohio, through an affiliate established a pioneer kraft mill. Through shifting patterns of tech

    nology, war, and ownership the mill emerged in 1918 as a going thing,

    modestly successful but available for sale to new owners.

    Elis Olsson, a Norwegian immigrant with a papermaking background, then entered the picture. Olsson had worked for several paper manu

    facturers in the United States and knew paper technology quite

    thoroughly. He and an associate persuaded Christoffer Hannevig, a

    young Norwegian financial adventurer in New York, to provide most

    of the money to buy the West Point mill, which they then operated under the corporate name of Chesapeake Corporation, beginning November 15, 1918. In 1921 Virginia interests came into control of the

    company. Olsson gradually advanced into the principal position of

    leadership, and apparently ownership, and for many years he dominated

    the company. In 1958 the leadership passed to his son, Sture Gordon

    Olsson.

    The company and the little town of West Point grew and prospered

    together during the decade of the 1920's. Technical problems were

    mastered, and markets were rapidly expanded. In the 1930's, the

    depression decade, the company had its troubles but continued its

    expansion program. It was by then well established and financially

    strong, and it displayed every evidence of good management and

    intelligent foresight. In the years since 1940 there has been continued

    expansion, as the company has shared in the rapid growth of the

    kraft paper industry. The company's book value grew from $541,000

    in 1918 to $44,808,400 in 1966, while in the same period the production of the pulp mill expanded from 17.5 tons to 1,065 tons per day.

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  • 196 The North Carolina Historical Review

    The author chronicles every change in top management personnel and loads his narrative with names and trivialities which for most

    readers have no significance. He seeks to chronicle all important events

    in the company's history and to give an evolving picture of the town

    of West Point and of its people and transportation facilities. An appen dix provides numerous tabulations which measure the company's

    growth and to some extent reflect its problems. The author, however,

    gives an inadequate picture of the dynamic growth of the southern

    pulp and paper industry and of the Chesapeake Corporation's position in it.

    James F. Doster

    University of Alabama

    OTHER RECENT PUBLICATIONS

    Collectors of North Caroliniana will want to acquire a copy of A

    Sketch of the Ufe of Queen Charlotte, 1744-1818, by Mary Myers Dwelle, "A Bicentennial Tribute from Her Namesake," published by the Charlotte Bicentennial Commission. In a very brief text Charlotte

    Sophia, youngest daughter of the Duke of Mecklenburg-Strelitz, who

    became the wife of George III of England, has been portrayed interest

    ingly and sympathetically by Mrs. Dwelle through the use of one of

    the young girl's letters, by glimpses at the Queen's family life, and by a description of the age of Queen Charlotte in eighteenth-century

    England. A remarkable and popular woman, Queen Charlotte's likeness will be found today in hundreds of portraits and miniatures which

    were produced by such famous artists as Gainsborough, Hogarth, Allan Ramsay, Joshua Reynolds, and Josiah Wedgwood. A list of some

    of the portraits of Queen Charlotte and the names of their owners is

    provided by the author. The book has been produced in a most

    attractive format by Heritage Printers, Inc. On the cover of the hard

    board binding of simulated leather is a color reproduction of Ramsay's oil painting of the Queen which hangs in the Mint Museum of Art, Charlotte, as a gift of Mrs. Westray Battle. The wide margins of the

    30-page work and the endpapers are decorated with artistic symbols of the period. The price is $2.50, and copies can be obtained from the

    publisher at 510 West Fourth Street, Charlotte, N. C., 28202.

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    Article Contentsp. 195p. 196

    Issue Table of ContentsThe North Carolina Historical Review, Vol. 46, No. 2 (April, 1969), pp. 83-200Front MatterTHE PROGRESSIVE DEMOCRATIC CONVENTION OF 1914 IN NORTH CAROLINA [pp. 83-104]PAPERS FROM THE SIXTY-EIGHTH ANNUAL SESSION OF THE NORTH CAROLINA LITERARY AND HISTORICAL ASSOCIATION: Charlotte, December 6, 1968INTRODUCTION [pp. 105-105]REVIEW OF NORTH CAROLINA NONFICTION: 1967-1968 [pp. 106-112]REVIEW OF NORTH CAROLINA FICTION, 1967-1968 [pp. 113-121]INDEPENDENT MECKLENBURG [pp. 122-129]AN ERA OF EDUCATIONAL CHANGE [pp. 130-141]OLD MECKLENBURG AND THE MEANING OF THE AMERICAN EXPERIENCE [pp. 142-156]WIMBLE'S MAPS AND THE COLONIAL CARTOGRAPHY OF THE NORTH CAROLINA COAST [pp. 157-170]

    NORTH CAROLINA BIBLIOGRAPHY, 1967-1968 [pp. 171-177]BOOK REVIEWSReview: untitled [pp. 178-180]Review: untitled [pp. 180-181]Review: untitled [pp. 181-182]Review: untitled [pp. 183-184]Review: untitled [pp. 184-185]Review: untitled [pp. 186-187]Review: untitled [pp. 187-188]Review: untitled [pp. 188-189]Review: untitled [pp. 189-190]Review: untitled [pp. 191-192]Review: untitled [pp. 192-193]Review: untitled [pp. 193-195]Review: untitled [pp. 195-196]OTHER RECENT PUBLICATIONS [pp. 196-199]

    Back Matter