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1940s

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1950s

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1960s

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1970s

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1980s

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1990s

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2000s

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1852

1861
Union Bag Machine Co. formed
and licensed the bag machine
design to bag makers around
the country.

1870
90% of bags in the US were made
on Union Bag designed machines.

Teacher, Francis Wolle invents 1st
machine to make paper bags.

1874
Union Bag Machine decides to start
making bags, forms Union Bag & Paper
Co. by merging 7 companies that had
been using Union Bag machines.

1874 –1984
Union Bag & Paper grows to making
4 billion bags a year, supplying 80%
of all bags sold in the United States.

1910 –1920
THE HISTORY OF UNION BAG

Bag makers began to switch to Kraft paper. The
Kraft process was invented in Sweden by accident
and the word “Kraft” is Swedish for strong. Union
Bag did not produce Kraft paper so it was forced
to buy and import Kraft paper to compete with
the other major bag makers.

1930s
By the 1930s Union Bag &
Paper Co. had factories and
mills throughout the country

THE CITY OF SAVANNNAH
Sleepy colonial city spared the worst of the Depression
due to the agricultural trade through the Port of Savannah
City and county government planned to help employment
by creating a Forestry Corporation that would put people
to work cleaning up forest land
Site of 19th century brick works

Little industry, economy still based on agriculture and
naval stores (turpentine and rosin from abundant pine
forests) as it had been for over a century

Only Georgia plantation that was
industrial rather than agriculturally based
Used special sheds on rails to cover
anduncover the kilns, thought to be
one of the earliest “railroads” in the
United States
Vacant until early 1917 when
Diamond Match Co. built a plant
that only operated for a few years

IN THE YEAR 1936:

91,000

estimated population
average apartment rent
Savannah Morning News Apr. 4, 1933

$500

average used car price
6

$0.35

price of a dozen eggs

$0.25

Henry Ford would buy the Hermitage
Mansion and other buildings, moving
them to Richmond Hill in 1931 leaving
the property vacant except for the
Diamond Match buildings

THE LOCATION HERMITAGE PLANTATION

the price of a chicken
dinner out on the town
7

America
Back to
Work
1930s

Col. E. George Butler
to Alexander Calder
January 25, 1935

THE NEGOTIATION

“Just say the word old
fellow and we will show
you real effort Here’s to
a Union Bag plant at
Savannah with no ifs
ands or maybes….”

At an October 1, 1934 meeting of
the Savannah Industrial Committee,
Chairman H. C Foss reported that Union
Bag and Paper Co. was interested in
building a plant in the Southeast to take
advantage of the Kraft pulping research
done by Dr. Charles Herty. Early in 1935
Dr. Herty concluded that a commercial
paper mill in the region was feasible and
that Union Bag and Paper Corp was
in definite negotiations to build one.
At his first meeting with Union Bag
& Paper, E. George Butler was
informed that Savannah was not
being considered and that Jacksonville,
Pensacola and Mobile were more likely
potential mill sites. So began the hard
fought and determined pursuit of a Union
Bag Mill for the City of Savannah….

10

Col. E.George Butler
to Alexander Calder
June 16, 1935

Alexander Calder to Col. E. George Butler
November 30, 1934
“You may rest assured that Savannah will be given very
thorough consideration and as soon as we have decided
on a site we will be glad to advise you.”
“As I told you in Savannah, I made so many good
friends there that it is going to be very difficult to decide
to locate elsewhere. However, I must not let sentiment
interfere with my business judgment. ”

“There are many things
we have done to make
it possible for a firm
such as yours to come
South, all we are asking
is that one will, we will
get one for our people—
never quit—my sincere
hope is that it is your
firm.”
“ If I thought that
Savannah was not the
place for you I would
be the first to admit it”

CHARLES
H. HERTY
Pioneering researcher in
using southern pine to make
Kraft paper
While a chemistry professor
at UGA in 1899 he went to
Germany and learned about
the Kraft process and their
forestry methods
What he saw helped him save
the southern turpentine industry
by using a method to collect
turpentine and rosin without
quickly killing the tree
His work to turn longleaf pine
into useable Kraft pulp made
coastal Georgia a desirable
place for a paper mill
Worked hard to convince
companies like Union Bag &
Paper Co. to build Mills in this
area, and his lab in Savannah
made the area even more
appealing as a site for a Mill

COL. E. GEORGE
BUTLER
Made Vice Chairman of the Savannah
Industrial Committee in 1934
He had responsibility for working to
attract industry to the Savannah area
Butler was the lead negotiator and
main cheerleader for Savannah
His determination was critical in
helping Savannah change from an
agricultural to an industrial port city
and getting the well paid jobs that
came with that change
The “Colonel” was most responsible
for helping Savannh win the contest
for the Union Bag Mill

11

A DEAL!

Alexander Calder to Col. E. George Butler
November 30, 1934
“At a meeting with the Mayor this
morning it was decided that they would
very much like to have a celebration here
at the plant when you begin construction
of same…which of course will spread
the news of this great project for our city
and section.”

Finally! Colonel Butler’s persistence paid off,
but what really sealed the deal for Savannah
was good old cash. The loans, tax breaks and
promises of service from the rail, steamship
and local supply companies put Savannah over
the top. It was all worth it, the promised jobs
and impact on the local economy would be a
huge boost to the city and county.

“Please advise us when you plan to start…
we ill arrange to buy a few ten cent store
shovels, etc., to do the job
up right.”

Made the biggest sale
by getting the F. W.
Woolworth account
In 1927 convinced
Union Bag to switch
to all Kraft pulp
In 1931 became
Union Bag & Paper
Co. President

12

Led Union Bag
through the
Depression, never
having a year where
the company lost
money–even during
the worst of the era
Made the decision
that the company
needed to build a Mill
where the trees were…
the South

…AND WHAT A
DEAL IT WAS
470 acre site leased for
1 cent per year for the first
35 years, then $10,500/yr.
for the next 64; option to
buy property for $250,000
at anytime.

ALEXANDER CALDER
Started with Union
Bag in 1913 as a
bag salesman

Savannah Morning News, May 30, 1935

Alexander Calder to H. C. Foss
May 31,1935
“Many thanks… We are off to
the races and should make
good speed from here on.”

Low rail and river/ocean
shipping rates, free rail
switching, and no cost
construction of rail sidings
or roads into the Mill
Came with tax exemptions
and liability exemptions
In return, Union Bag agreed
to build a certain sized
facility immediately, finish
on time, use local materials
and local labor, and control
the costs of construction
13

Foundation of the paper mill,
Diamond Match buildings in the
background which will become
the bag plant.

(Below) No. 1 PM is ordered

(Right) One of 3 lime kilns going in

Boilers going up …

CONSTRUCTION
14

(Left) No. 1 PM is installed

(Below) View towards the Savannah River,
showing work on building foundations

Construction began in June 1935 with a
company and a man well known in the
US paper industry. Merritt– Chapman &
Scott (general contractor) and George F.
Hardy (consulting engineer) had worked
on many large, challenging projects
around the United States.

View from the Woodyard side, debarking
drums, chip conveyor on the left, boilers,
digester room in the center and paper
mill / bag plant on the right.

15

First Load of Wood Delivered to the Savannah Mill, May 18, 1936

START UP

By late May 1936, the Savannah
Mill was coming to life, a little
less than a year from the start
of construction. The “official”
opening opening was not

scheduled until October, but
the owners and builders of this
big new mill were anxious to
see it run, and it seem to run
well … very well.

(Left) Savannah Morning News,
May 18, 1936
(Center Left) Forest Geological
Review, June 1936
(Center Left) Atlanta Journal
Constitution, July 22, 1936
(Right) Savannah Morning
News, Sept 30, 1936

16

17

From the day that construction
was started there were already
plans to expand the mill. Just
as No. 1 PM was starting to run,
construction on No. 2 PM and
expansion of the pulp mill was
begun. Most of the buildings
in the mill were originally built
with at least one temporary
wall to allow for expansion.

(Top Right)
Savannah
Morning News,
October 1, 1936
(Bottom RIght)
Savannah
Morning News,
September 26, 1936

The Savannah Morning News
was dedicated to the Union
Bag Savannah Mill opening on
October 1st, 1936, in addition
to the stories and pictures, the
paper was full of thank you,
welcome congratulations ads
from local businesses, those
involved in the mills construction
and Union Bag itself …

By the end of the1930s Union Bag
had a big well established mill and
very active employee athletics. The
Union Bag Athletic Association
(UBAA) sponsored baseball, softball,
basketball, bowling and boxing
teams. In 1939 they published the
first formal monthly mill news
magazine, ”The Digester” and
provided both a ball park and golf
course on the mill site. The golf
course was called Mary Calder
GC after the mother of Alexander
Calder. Alexander Calder, who was
a college athlete, felt strongly that a
company athletics program would
help employees be healthier and
happier. Company wide there were
900 members in the UBAA and 400
directly in some sports activity.

GRAND OPENING CONTINUED GROWTH
The City fought hard to win it, a year was
spent building it, the equipment and the
process had been proven … Now it was time
to declare it open for business and to invite
the community to see it. October 1, 1936 was
announced as the official opening of the mill
with a full slate of ceremonies and events.

18

(Bottom Right)
Savannah Morning News,
October 1, 1936

19

1940s

THE ‘BAG’
GOES TO
WAR

By August 1945, 1867 “Baggers” had gone off to war.

SACRIFICE AT HOME
The 1940’s dawned with a continuation of the constant
growth in the Mill. Union Bag continued to expand
the Mill with more paper machines, boilers and other
equipment going in, but events made growing more
difficult and effected everything….America and Union
Bag went to war with our entry into WWII.

MORE WOMEN BEGAN
TO WORK IN THE MILL
In Feb. 1945 the Boatwright triplets signed up, 2 did not
pass the physical, all three had been in the paper mill.

By December 1943, Union Bag had lost
it’s first employee. George Richardson , a
former pulp tester, was lost with most of
his crew when their B-17 was shot down
over North Africa.

22

Along with many Americans,
the Savannah Mill flew a
service flag, which in Feb.
1945 showed that we had
1145 employees in the armed
forces and 8 that had lost
their lives.

By 1943 women were stepping into many jobs left open by the men
going off to war. The paper in the picture represented the 2 millionth
ton produced in the Mill between 1936 and November 1945

The Mill was put on war footing in 1941-42

23

(Right Top)
Savannah Morning News
December 22, 1942
(Right Center)
This photo shows what was
planned or installed as of 1946
in the Mill. Add to that PM5 in
1948, 10PB and 5 Turbine in 1949.
Pretty impressive at a time
when materials and labor were
in short supply
(Right Bottom)
The Box Plant in operation in
October 1947

24

9PB going up in March 1945.
At 200,000 lb/hr steam and
450 psi, it was twice as big as
any other boiler at the mill.
The expansion also included a new crane for the wood yard.

The Savannah Mill continued the nearly constant growth
… Paper, and in particular paper for packaging, that began
with the mills construction in 1936. It was said that the
original general contractor never left the mill site for the
first 20 years. Paper and in particular paper for packaging
was declared a critical war material, so Union Bag was
able to get the permission to use valuable steel and other
materials to continue to expand production at the mill.

In 1948/49 10 PB was
built, at 500,000 lb/hr and
1200 psi, making it the
largest mill boiler in the
world at the time.

25

The construction continued
throughout the 40’s with the
final additions between 1946
and 1949
The decade started with
about 3,000 employees and
producing 620 TPD on three
machines. At the end of the
40’s the mill employed almost
4500 and produced roughly
950 tons on 5 machines.

Union Bag always had a
strong tradition of giving
back to the community,
the war was no exception,
as part of charitable
drives during this period
in supporting the war effort .
G. W. E. Nicholson, mill
and resident manager,
celebrates another
successful community
chest and war drive in 1944.

PM5 going up, looking from the
wet to the dry end of the machine

The mill had installed:

1940

1-7PB, 1-7 RB, 1-3 LK, 1-3 TG
and PM 1-3 and the bag plant

1949

1-10PB, 1-10RB, 1-4 LK, 1-5TG,
PM 1-5, the bag plant, tall oil
plant and a box plant

PM5 construction, from the
dry end of the machine

26

In October 1943, J.C.
Graham, a boiler
mechanic in the power
area was recognized for
buying the most war
bonds. In 10 months in
1943 he purchased $4,000
in bonds, a huge sum
for the time. He used the
proceeds from his after
hours farming to help
support the war effort.

Mr. Nicholson, Resident Manager and
crew celebrate putting PM5 into operation.
PM5 made its first paper on the morning
of Oct 15, 1947 just as a hurricane was
coming ashore near Tybee Island. Despite
90 mph winds and a 12 foot storm surge,
the crew “brought the machine in.”

27

THE MARCH OF
PROGRESS
1950s

(Left) 12PB under construction
(Center) Inside the kiln, showing
heavy chain to break up lime.
(Right) LK 7 under construction,
replaced #1 & 2 kiln

Booming from both the war and post war
demand for packaging, Union Bag continued to
expand with 2 new paper machines (6&7), 2 new
power boilers (11 & 12), a new kiln, 2 recovery
boilers (11 & 12), 6,7 &8 turbine improvements to
the woodyard and more warehouse space.

(Left) 11 power boiler
nearing completion in July
1957. When finished, it
would produce 450,000 lbs
/hr and burn 70 tons/hr of
bark from the wood used by
the mill. It will be the mill’s
largest power boiler.

Extension to pulp mill

PM6 foundation

(Right) To make room for
new equipment some of the
old had to go, 1st the large
stack on the river and then
the Diamond Match water
tower which had been at the
site since 1917, and a fixture
of the mill skyline since it was
constructed in 1936.
11 recovery boiler

(Bottom Left) 12
recovery boiler going
up in Nov 1955, at the
time the largest recovery
boiler in the world.
(Bottom Right) No. 6
turbine, largest mill
turbine to date. The mill
turbine room generated
enough power to supply
Richmond, Virginia.

30

(Bottom Left) Shine
Jackson watches the
first pulp go down
PM6
(Bottom Right) A
crowd waits for PM6
to start up
On Dec 31, 1959
PM7 made its first
paper with a crowd
in attendance.

31

(Top Left) Early 1950s
woodyard showing some
of the 1,700 cords per
day that the mill used. In
February 1951 ,the yard
held 85,000 cords, an all
time high.

(Left Top) From only 600
employees in 1936, the
shift change in the 50s
was probably that many
people by itself …
(Right) The growth of
the mill between 1936
and the mid 1950s was
astounding as shown in
this photograph.

(Top Right) New woodyard
skyline show new chip
silos and conveyors. In
early 1954 the mill was
voted one of the 7 wonders
of Georgia by the Association of Civil Engineers.

(Left Bottom) This is the
first group of bag plant
employees in 1936, all
48 of them. In 1951 there
were 783 employees in
the bag plant.

UNION BAG WAS TRULY A SMALL CITY

(Below) The mill still had
employees and sons of
employees going off to
war and sometimes not
coming back (bottom
left), this time it was the
Korean war.

By the mid 1950s employment had reached 5,300, Union Bag was truly
a small city of people doing just about everything. We had carpenters,
plumbers, gardeners, tin smiths, boilermakers and every other task
and type of people imaginable including all of those shown here …
(Left) New Flumet
(Center) New wood
“escalator
(Right) New flume
in operation

(Left) There was even a herd
of goats that kept the weeds
down in the salvage yard!
(Left Center) The mill had a
staff of painters that applied
10,000 gal / year of paint to
everything in the mill
(Right Center) The mill
blacksmith, W. E. Yokum
carried on an old trade with
some modern tools
(Right) Mr. & Mrs Jarvis had
a total 100 yrs of service
making bags for Union Bag

32

33

82 years after becoming
Union Bag and Paper Corp,
Union Bag merged with Camp
Manufacturing to become
Union Bag-Camp Paper Corp.
Camp Manufacturing was born
in 1874 as a lumber company
in Virginia. By the 1950s it had
a large paper mill in Franklin,
Virginia that made bleached
paper grades. Now Union Bag
had two paper mills and a
multitude of product lines …

(Right) Mill Exports were
increasing as Europe rebuilt
from the war and the port of
Savannah built new facilities.

(Right & RIght Middle)
Murals that were painted
by Atlanta artist David
Reese for the reception
area of the Administation
building in March 1952

(Left) Hundreds visited the
mill, including the Chamber
of Commerce above and
Beaufort County High School
students. 400 visited in June
57 alone.

(Left Middle) Movie
“Green Gold” shooting on
PM5 October 1951
(Left) Union Bag crowd
at “Green Gold” showing
October 1951

34

1861

UNION BAG MACHINE CO.

1874

UNION BAG AND PAPER CO.

1884

UNION BAG AND PAPER CORP

1956

UNION BAG– CAMP PAPER CORP.
35

NEW
MILESTONES

1960s

After 20 plus years of almost
continuous construction activity
at Savannah shifted from building
to running. The company was
focused on its new Mill in Franklin
Virginia and it rapidly expanding
collection of box plants. The focus
at Savannah was in completing
the a few remaining building
projects and setting records…

…And by 1965 it had planted its
200 millionth, which included
92 million given to private land
owners. The 200 millionth was
planted at Mary Calder GC and
dedicated to Arthur Jeffords head
of procurement, killed in an auto
accident the year before.

In 1966 with just hours to spare
on New Years eve, PM7 produced
the 1 millionth ton for that year, a
record production for a paper mill
that would stand for years. Paper
Mill Superintendant C. E. (Shine)
Jackson celebrates the achievement

Union Bag began planting pine
seedlings in 1938, by 1960 it had
planted its 100 millionth…

38

39

(Left) K1 digester starts to rise! (Right) K1 nears the top…

(Top Right)
The K1 control room.
(Bottom Left)
Gala Banquet at the Desoto celebrating 25 years!
(Bottom Center)
Alexander Calder Sr.
accepts a plaque from
the Savannah Chamber of
Commerce on the Mill’s
25 years in Savannah.
(Bottom Right)
1961 was a big year as it
was the 25th anniversary
of the mills birth and the
100th for the origins of
the company.

40

41

A DECADE OF
RECORDS!
At the dawn of the decade the mill
had 5300 employees and produced
around 2000 TPD. The Mill consisted
of 10-12PB, 1-8TG, 4-13RB, 1-6LK, 44
Batch digesters and 1-7PM. The box
plant, bag plant, tall oil and the
chemical plant

Between March 1961 and December
1962 the mill worked 2,102,000 man
hours without a Lost Time injury. A
record for any company facility.

ft

936 (le
es in 1

ht)

61 (rig

d to 19

pose
) as op

Through the decade the
mill set numerous records:

r

Mill sto

1
6
9
1
O
T
N
6
3
9
1
PARISO

COM COME
E
D
I
S
BY
E’D
E
W
D
I
R
S
A
F
A
HOW
E
E
S
O
T

Evidence of the safety
culture, In December ‘61,
Union Camp offered employees the opportunity to
buy seat belts for their cars
through the company.

6
in 193
the left
1
6
n
9
o
1
g
in
in
t
e build ne the righ
o
d in th
e
e
k
n
r
o
o
e
ights w pared to th
Millwr
as com

Speaking of records,
Savannah set one
with a 3.6” snowfall
on Feb 8, 1968. It
broke a record that
went back to 1899!

The Mill consisted of 10-12PB, 1-8TG,
4-13RB, 1-6LK, 44 Batch digesters, K1 continuous digester and 1-7PM. The box plant,
bag plant, tall oil and the chemical plant

in
d best
secon
(right)
ishes
.
n
e
fi
g
e
a
r
r
o
ga
ir of y
ay’s”
e repa
h “tod
Garag
on wit
is
r
a
p
com

42

The Mill finished the decade with just
over 5,100 employees and produced and
average of 2,523 tons

1966: World record
1962: 2517 TPD
1,001,202 tons, first
1964: 2598 TPD
May 65: 2624 TPD mill to produce over
Aug 65: 2673 TPD 1 million tons in a year
Nov 65 2673 TPD

(Left) In 1962, Alexander Calder Sr.,
the man that launched Union Bag and
Savannah towards the papermaking record books by placing a bet on Savannah
passed away on Sea Island Georgia at the
age of 76. He had already passed the torch
to his son and heir, Alexander Calder, Jr.
43

1970s

environmental
stewardship takes
center stage

A HISTORY OF STEWARDSHIP
While the Savannah mill continued to grow and
prosper, it was becoming apparent throughout the
company and the nation that more needed to be
done to reduce industry’s impact on the environment.
The Clean Air Act Amendments of 1970 and the
signing of the Clean Water Act in 1972 reflected these
growing concerns and that change was needed.
Union Camp was quick to answer the call to
action and developed numerous large scale projects
to address both air and water issues.
By the end of the 1970s, the company had spent
over $56MM on environmental improvements that
had dramatically impacted both air and water quality
in Savannah and formed a legacy of environmental
stewardship that continues to this day.

As early as 1945, the Savannah mill was
hard at work reducing its air emissions
through the installation of precipitators
that would treat the emissions from nine
recovery furnaces.
Wastewater treatment also became a
critical focus for the mill. It was announced
in 1967 that a large, 310’ diameter
clarifier would be constructed to treat the
mill’s wastewater – five years before the
Clean Water Act was signed into law. As the
clarifier was nearing completion, plans were
already being made for secondary treatment
of the site’s wastewater. The plans included
installation of a pipeline under the Savannah
River to carry the wastewater from the clarifier
to a new lagoon on Hutchinson Island.
The final section of pipeline was installed in
1972 and the system was put into service,
resulting in significant improvements in the
mill’s wastewater quality.

8 washline progress 1977

44

45

The 14 Recovery
Furnace near
completion. The new
recovery furnace and
liquor oxidation system
came online in 1974,
significantly reducing
stack emissions of
sulfur compounds.

“We believe this represents the
largest commitment that has been
made to environmental improvement
at any existing facility in our industry.
We expect it to bring our Savannah
pulp mill into full compliance with
existing federal and state regulations;
beyond that, it will make a real
contribution to the people of
Savannah and the city itself.”
–President Alexander Calder, Jr.
While work was proceeding on the new secondary wastewater treatment system, Union Camp was working on other environmental
projects as well.
A new sanitary sewage collection system was being developed to
tie in with the City of Savannah treatment plant that was under
construction.
New venturi scrubbers were installed on all three lime kilns to
reduce particulate emissions.

GOVERNOR CARTER
COMES TO SAVANNAH

Announcement of new program

(Top left) The first shipment of paper from the mill to
China was in July 1979.

In 1971, a number of key events occurred
that highlighted the company’s dedication
to environmental improvement:
In April, Alexander Calder, Jr., the President of Union
Camp Corporation, announced the creation of the
company’s first Department of Environmental Protection.
Governor Jimmy Carter visited the Savannah mill on
May 7th to present the mill, along with 10 other Georgia
Pulp and Paper mills, with good citizenship awards.
The awards were given in recognition of the industry’s
voluntary cooperation in the drive toward cleaner air.

46

Then Union Camp announced plans for a new recovery
furnace. The new furnace was anticipated to cost $34MM
and would enable the mill to close four, older, less efficient
recovery furnaces. It would result in massive reductions of
particulate and odors.

(Top right) Verner F. Kelly was appointed Director of
New Environmental Protection Dept.
#8 washline
progress 1977,
started up in
Jan 1978

(Bottom left) ‘Shine ON’: In 1972 a fixture of the Savannah Mill retired. C. E. (Shine) Jackson began his
papermaking career at a number of Mills in Louisiana,
Virginia and South Carolina before coming to work at
the new Union Bag and Paper Mill in Savannah in 1936.
He started as a backtender, became shift foreman in 1942,
assistant Paper Mill Superintendant in 1946 and finally
Paper Mill Superintendant in 1948. This is the job he held
until he retired. He started up or helped start up 6 of the 7
machines and figured he had been in on making 22 million
tons of paper.
(Bottom right) A long standing icon of the mill – the last of two
mill water towers – was taken down
47

In March 1980, #5PM was modernized to include a
new headbox, screens and other critical equipment.

getting bigger
and better

1980s

48

In December 1980, the Savannah Mill set a new
world production record. It had exceeded 1MM
tons twice before, and was still the only mill on
record to have ever exceeded that threshold.

As the mill approached its fiftieth year of operation, its role in Union Camp was getting
less clear. Newer mills within the company,
such as Montgomery and Eastover, were
larger and more efficient than the Savannah Mill, and were creating competition
for production and capital.
If the Savannah Mill were to remain
competitive, it needed to improve
efficiency and capacity. During the
decade, the mill was granted the
capital it needed to grow and remain
a world class integrated facility.

49

#13 POWER BOILER
TAKES SHAPE

New coal handling system

In 1981, construction began on a new power boiler
for the mill. The new boiler, #13, was a major step
toward future manufacturing efficiency and making
the mill self sufficient in electric power production.
It was the largest boiler of its type in the industry.
The $91MM boiler was the first in the US built to
supply steam at over 1500 psig. The technology for
the new, electrode type precipitators for the boiler
were only introduced in the industry in 1979.

LEAPING FORWARD
WITH PDQ
(Above) While some processes
were getting more modern,
some still remained unchanged
after many decades, such as the
mill’s blacksmith, Sam Eady.

50

(Right) The new power boiler
wasn’t the only thing being built
at the mill during this decade.
There was also a new chip
storage system and roll handling
system in the works to make
the processes more efficient.

On February 29, 1988 (leap year), it was announced that
the mill had received approval for a new $375 MM project that would focus on Productivity, Dependability, and
Quality (PDQ) improvements.
Scheduled to be completed in 1991, the project would
reduce costs, increase production and improve the quality of our products.

51

#8PM completed

1990s

the
modernization
of the mill

New K2 digester

K2 announcement

#8PM under construction

OUT WITH THE OLD,
IN WITH THE NEW
The 1990s were a time of tremendous growth and
modernization for the Savannah Mill. Construction of
Project PDQ was nearing completion and brand new,
state-of-the-art equipment was being commissioned.By
the time the project was completed, the productivity and
reliability of the entire mill was vastly improved, thus
cementing its position as the largest integrated pulp and
paper complex in the world.
It wasn’t long after the completion
of Project PDQ that both #15 Recovery
Furnace and #10 Turbine Generator
were commissioned as well.

#8PM completed

Though the 1990s brought vast changes to the mill
in the way of new, modernized equipment, the greatest
change was yet to come. On April 30, 1999, Union
Camp became part of International Paper. This new
organization would prepare the Savannah Mill for
the 21st century.
Several other key pieces of equipment were included in the
project: a new #7 lime kiln to replace #4, #5, and #6 lime kilns, a
new long log chip mill and a new system for collecting odorous
TRS (total reduced sulfur) gases from around the mill. The TRS
collection system was installed to reduce odor by over 95%.
(Left) #7 Lime kiln with #4, #5, #6 in background

52

53

During this time, as throughout its history, Union Camp
employees were giving of their time and money to help
the community, through March of Dimes (left), United Way
(middle), and the mill’s own volunteer group – VOICES.

In 1996, the Savannah area was chosen
to host the yachting events for the
1996 Summer Olympic games. Many
employees participated in that event,
including one employee who was an
athlete in the games and one employee
who carried the torch for one leg of its
journey to the Olympic stadium.

CHANGE COMES
TO UNION CAMP
As the mill was preparing to move into
the next century, a big change was about
to come to Union Camp.On April 30, 1999,
Union Camp became part of International
Paper Corporation.

GIVING BACK

(Above left) In February of
1994, a ceremony was held
at the Savannah mill to
commemorate the one billionth seedling grown at the
Bellville, GA nursery.
The seedling was planted outside the Main Office Building
and still stands tall today.

54

(Above) In November 1992,
Union Camp opened the doors of
a new Employee Medical Center
in Savannah to serve the medical
needs of all existing and retired
employees and their families.
(Right) 1993 brought with it the
announcement that Union Camp
had been chosen as Company of
the Year by American Papermaker.

CHANGING LANDSCAPES
While the new recover boiler was under construction, two
events occurred that would drastically affect many employees.
In December 1994, the announcement was made that the
Savannah Mill bag plant would be closing at the end of the
year, thus ending 58 years of bag manufacturing at the site.
In August 1994, a dryer can exploded on #6PM crippled
the machine and forced it to be down for 3 months while
repairs were made.

Support from the community was overwhelming,
facilitating the transition
to the new organization.

Union Camp becomes
International Paper

55

THE MILL OF THE 21ST CENTURY
The Savannah mill had undergone many changes
throughout the years as Union Camp. Now, as part
of International Paper, the mill faced new challenges
and opportunities.

ushering in
a new era

The 21st century marked a time of rationalization –
restructuring and reorganizing to remain competitive
in the global market place.
While there were many struggles and difficulties
along the way, there were also many outstanding
achievements – those that can only be realized when
everyone works together toward a common goal.
Today, the Savannah Mill remains a strong,
competitive force in the world pulp and paper
market. Its employees are hard working, dedicated
and passionate about their work, their community

The challenge of optimizing a mill that was constructed in 1936 was a daunting one. Finding the
right combination of pulping equipment, utility
equipment and paper machines to balance the mill
and make the most production was challenging. In
the end, the following equipment was retired, so
that the rest of the mill could run efficiently:
2000 – Retired 4PM
2001 – Retired 11PB, Retired 14RF, Retired 2PM
2002 – Retired 12PB, the Batch Digesters and #8 Washline
2004 – Retired 7PM

2000s

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57

The shutdown of
many of the older,
less efficient production units enabled the
mill to streamline its
operations using the
newer remaining
equipment, including:

1971

In 2006, under this new configuration,
the mill was able to set a new production record of 1,019,508 tons with only
three machines in operation. This
configuration is what is still in place
today, and this record still stands.

New safety record in 1971

SAFETY HITS
A NEW LOW
Safety had always
been a key focus of the
Savannah mill from
very on in its history.
Through diligence and
hard work, the Incident
rate at the mill continued
to fall, until in 2006, the
TIR fell to its all time low of
0.58, with four recordables
for the entire year. The mill
is still striving to reduce
that level even further.

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#5, #6, and #8 Paper Machines
K1 and K2 digesters
#15 Recovery Furnace
#13 Power Boiler
#7 Lime Kiln
H2 and H3 Hydrapulpers

1948
1948
(Above) Mill hits new record
low incident rate in December
1948, with only 6 lost workday
incidents that month – lowest
since mill startup
(Top Right) New safety hats
in 1948
(Bottom Right) 1975 – only 22
lost workday cases that year

THE SAVANNAH
MILL TODAY
Today, the Savannah Mill is a thriving, vital part of
Savannah, providing jobs for many employees and
contractors, and product to places around the world.

1975
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1939

1969

1951

1980s

1951– 1957

1990s

EARLY 1960s

2000s