Name: 275th Anniversary of Räpina Paper Mill
Date of Issue: 14 May 2009
The history of the Räpina Paper Mill, one of the oldest industrial enterprises in Estonia, goes back to the year 1728 when Count Karl Gustav von Löwenwolde, a courtier of Tsar Peter I of Russia, acquired lands in Räpina on the banks of Estonia’s longest river, and a dam with a brick works nearby was built on the river under building master Johan Georgi Kaiser’s supervision. The bricks were used to build a sawmill, a flourmill and a paper mill, all of which used water as a source of power. It was a rare case in Europe where one dam brought into motion three different mills. The paper mill based on renewable technology was launched in 1734. The factory building, which has seen several stages of rebuilding, is a rare example of industrial architecture and is today protected as a cultural monument. The first paper machine that made various kinds of writing and printing paper was brought to Räpina from Germany. Thanks to up-to-date technology it was possible to produce also finer types of paper, such as filter paper for pharmacies, blotting, cigarette and tissue paper. In the period of the Estonian national movement in the 1860s to 1880s Räpina paper contributed to the spread of the printed word in Estonian: over a longer period of time the leading Estonian newspapers, such as Postimees, Sakala and Olevik, and after the proclamation of independence in 1918 even some of the banknotes of the young republic were printed on it. After the restoration of Estonian independence thorough renewal of technology was undertaken and it is today possible to produce high quality paper meeting all modern requirements.
Wednesday, June 17, 2009