Welcome to the Artifact of the Month - a series featuring an artifact from the Paper Museum's extensive collection. Each month highlights a different artifact to provide the opportunity to learn more about our collection and the variety of items collected.

International Paper Company Calendar

May 1, 2021

This month’s Artifact of the Month is a collection of 10 brightly colored blue, green, and yellow International Paper Company calendars from the year 1936. At the top of each month, there is a sketch showing the development of the American paper mail service – beginning with February’s illustration of a 1750’s post rider to the airmail of the 1930s, which is depicted on the December calendar. Moreover, the back of each calendar includes a few paragraphs with a description of one step in the process of “the manufacture of quality papers.” Altogether, there are 11 steps featured across 11 months, each accompanied by another illustration that depicts the papermaking step that month is dedicated to describing. 

The International Paper Company was established in 1898 with a merger that comprised of 17 pulp and paper mills across the northeast US, the “heartland of the turn-of-the-century pulp and paper industry.” During its early years, IP was the nation's largest producer of newsprint, supplying 60 percent of all newsprint sold in the United States and exporting to Argentina, England, and Australia. The International Paper Company is still around to this day, and for more information on the history of the company, please visit this online pdf, which takes the reader through a breakdown, decade by decade, of the development of the International Paper Company (including sections spanning the Great Depression to mid-century labor strikes to the end of the 20th century). 

In order to better see the details of one of these exquisite calendars, please zoom into the above photo collage that showcases the different aspects/pieces of February’s iteration, and if this interests you, please join us again next month for another detailed look into our 100,000+ artifact collection! 

[End Note: As mentioned, there are only 10 calendars in the museum’s possession. We are currently missing both January and June of 1936, which means we do not have the introductory month (Jan.) or step five (June).]

Category: Paper Fibers/Pre Paper

Region of Origin: American


American Calendar from 1936