How was paper recycled?

newspaper wallpaperWriting paper, envelopes, books, and wrapping paper were hard to find in the South during the War. When the supply of paper made from wood pulp ran short, paper mills used linen and cotton rags to make paper so that important news and information could still be shared between generals, soldiers, families, and businesses.

They also began using substitutes. Newspapers used “necessary paper,” printing on everything from cornhusks to wallpaper to old bags.  Desperate for information, soldiers and civilians sent messages on pages torn out of books, the backs of pictures, and the space left on old letters. Envelopes were made from folded letters, previously used envelopes, advertising flyers, and wallpaper.

This exhibition has been created by the City of Manassas Citizen’s Advisory Committee on Solid Waste with the gracious help of the Manassas Museum, Library of Congress, and the American Civil War Museum.

Did you know?
Americans use over 85,000,000 tons of paper every year. That's about 680 pounds per person.

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