In 1898, three brothers Ernst, Otto and Bernard Behrend along with their father Moritz, formed the Hammermill Paper Company along the shores of Lake Erie, in Erie, Pennsylvania.
The company thrived and became one of the region’s largest employers. Ernst Behrend, served as president and Otto as secretary, while Bernard left for Boston where he became a well-known mechanical engineer.
In 1984 Hammermill was purchased by International Paper Company which ran the Erie plant until its closing in 2002.
The archival materials date from the founding through the takeover in the mid-1980’s and describe the growth of the company and changes in the papermaking process. The papers also touch on topics of cultural interest and local history such as the 1918
influenza epidemic, the pollution of Lake Erie, and the distrust of German-Americans and their companies during the Nazi regime.
The collection contains several series:
Related collections include: