Finch Paper: Courtesy of Glens Falls Business Journal

Finch Paper, formerly Finch Pruyn Paper was founded by Jeremiah and Daniel Finch, together with Samuel Pruyn in 1865 in Glen Falls, New York. Between 1900 and 1910, a groundwood pulp mill, using spruce and balsam, was built. In the 1920’s the company shifted its focus to manufacturing newsprint and hanging paper used for wallpaper. During the Great Depression, the company invested in new grinders to improve wood-chip production, while a turbine generated electricity. The company also had a bleaching facility to convert its newsprint to high-quality for magazine and book paper.

During the 1950’s and 60’s all three paper machines were completely rebuilt, but by the 1965, production doubled and a fourth paper machine was built. New products included paper for envelopes, maps, greeting cards, gift wrap, lace paper, box liners and labels.

In the 1970’s Biomass power boilers were installed. The company’s power plant used a cogeneration steam turbine.

Unfortunately, workers at papermills, such as Finch Pruyn were exposed to asbestos in a variety of ways. As in most manufacturing facilities, asbestos was used as an insulator in boilers and equipment used to generate their products, such as the brakes on rolling machines. Asbestos pipe covering, such as transite, was used to cover pipes leading to and from the boilers which created steam for heating the plant, as well as in the process of making paper. Pipe dryers also contained asbestos in the gaskets, which often required repair and repacking.

Workers were also exposed to asbestos in the routine maintenance in the facility itself from flooring to ceiling tiles. Papermills are dusty places in general. Sadly, workers would bring clothes home to be laundered, bringing home the dust and exposing their loved ones to harmful asbestos, as well.

If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with mesothelioma or another asbestos-related disease as a result of working at Finch Pruyn Papermill, please contact us today for a free and confidential case evaluation.

Cooper’s cave as viewed from the bank of the Hudson River below the Finch, Pruyn & Company Powerhouse. 
Photo courtesy of Library of Congress Rep. No. HAER NY,57-GLEFA,1–14