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Paper mills like De_Schoolmeester (The Schoolmaster) attracted global fame in bygone years. They wrote history by producing paper of exceptional quality. Indeed, the American Declaration of Independence is said to have been printed on paper made in a paper mill in this region. The first paper mill along the river Zaan was around 1605. These paper mills made only grey, blue and writing paper, as De_Schoolmeester still does today. The production of white paper was not invented yet.

A number of important discoveries were made in the Zaan industrial region, including the beater tub. The principles of paper-making consist of separating the fibres of textile waste such as old clothing, rugs, old rope and fish netting. By making use of the beater tub it was possible to reduce the time involved by 75% while considerably improving the quality of the paper at the same time.

At the end of the 17th century, there were some 40 paper mills in the Zaan region, all equipped with two or three beater tubs. Since 1692, De_Schoolmeester had been owned by several owners, but from 1977 there is only one: the Society of Zaan Windmills.



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Kalverringdijk • Zaandam • North-Holland • The Netherlands • You find us 15 kilometer north of Amsterdam along the river Zaan • Easy access by train


Paper mill from 1692

Opening hours: Wednesday till Saturday from 10.00 - 16.00

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