Ancient Heritage Relevant to Digital Art

What does a 425 year old business have to do with Digital Art?

As a digital art geek I still use fine art techniques and fine-art tools. Many digital artist use art software and combine digital paint with traditional media tools much like I do. How many companies worldwide get to celebrate a centennial anniversary?  In the business world since I was a kid over 90% of the businesses don’t reach their 5th year. Very few families even can trace their own heritage back 300 years.  One of the papers I use for my digital art is Hahnemuhle’s Torchon. Hahnemuhle was founded in 1584! They are celebrating a birthday of 425 years. How cool is that?

Below are some historical facts about Hahnemuhle’s  fabulous history and heritage, this is referenced from there website and press release. If you love history or art history this is very cool.

425th Hahnemühle Anniversary – Historical Facts about the Papermill

Owner’s history

At February 27 th, 1584 the Herzog of Braunschweig granted the right to build a papermill to Merten Spieß. In the following time the “Reylingehäusische Papiermühle” -the first papermill in the surroundings of the mid mountains “Solling”- arose. The papermill was owned by the descendants of Merten Spieß for 185 years until August 1769. Then the mill was sold to the Andrae family, which owned it until 1884.

In 1884 the mill was bought by L. Heinemann, who sold it only to years later in 1886 to Carl Hahne. Carl Hahne renamed the mill into “Büttenpapierfabrik Hahnemühle”. In 1902 Hahnemühle was converted into a limited company (GmbH) and merged with Schleicher & Schuell, a company from Düren. In 1927 Schleicher & Schuell became the sole owner of Hahnemühle. At July 1st 2002 Hahnemühle was renamed as Hahnemühle FineArt GmbH. In 2004 Hahnmühle was demerged from Schleicher &Schuell and operates independently since then.

Product’s history

Up to the end of the 19.century Hahnemühle existed as a small manufacturer with less than 15 employees. The main products were finest handmade writing and foolscap papers. Under the leadership of Carl Hahne the production of high purity filter paper began and the mill grew up. In the 1920th there were more than 120 employees. Also the production of artist papers became more and more.

The first paper machine was a mould made paper machine, installed in the early 1920th. A Fourdrinier machine follows. Although the production became more and more mechanized, until the 1960th some of the papers were made completely by hand. In the 1970th Hahnemühle developed the first acid free and achivable machine made paper. In the late 1990 the first Fine Art Inkjet papers were developed based on traditional artist papers. Today Hahnemühle is one of the last paper mills which produced high quality artist’s papers and high purity filter papers for various purposes. Hahnemühle’s Digital FineArt Collection is the world market leader in the high quality inkjet paper segment. It’s a unique that Hahnemühle produces its paper at the same place for 425 years.

I know for me I am going to make sure I can get a tour when I am in Europe next. It would be well worth it.

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