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About the Collection
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 era.
The collection contains several series:
- Papers of Ernst Behrend, William Brust, and William Bromley
- Annual reports and financial ledgers
- Publications, including the company magazine The Hammermill Bond
- Books related to paper-making and those published by the company
- An extensive photograph collection
- A poster collection printed on Hammermill paper
- Artifacts reflecting plant operations and employee activities
- Harry Hahn Papers
- Frank A. Knauer Papers
- F. Percy Klund Papers
- Wilson Family Papers
- Cosmos Club Collection
- The Penn State Behrend Archives Oral History Collection
The Behrend Archives is available by appointment only. Please contact Jane Ingold, Associate Librarian, at 814-898-7278 or email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.