Crane Museum of Papermaking

The Berkshires

Since 1879 every single American bill has been printed on paper made by the Crane Company, based in the small mill town of Dalton. The Crane Museum of Papermaking, housed in the original stone mill room built in 1844, traces the history of Zenas Crane’s enterprise, which is still family-run after seven generations. To get here from Pittsfield, take MA 9 northeast for 5 miles.

The videos – on Crane’s papermaking process and on counterfeit detection – are fascinating. This ‘Champagne of papers’ is made from 100% cotton rag rather than wood, and so is wonderfully strong and creamy as well as environmentally sound. In the museum workshop you can see papermaking demos and have a go at making your own using pulp and rags.

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