Rice Barton Corp. history

A little History...Prominent among the early manufacturers of American paper-making machines and machinery was the firm of Rice, Barton and Fales, still after well over a century very well known as builders of paper-making machines, especially in the United States.  The firm was started in 1837 by two paper-makers, Henry P. Howe and Isaac Goddard, in Worcester, a small village in Massachusetts, but now a large town where the present firm still continues to operate.  


George M. Rice joined the firm in 1846 and George Sumner Barton, who at the time was an apprentice with the firm, became a partner and the name of the firm became Goddard, Rice and Company, which firm it is recorded were among the first engineers to make use of steam engines for power, in place of traditional water-wheels.  They also build many paper-making machines for the Middle West, in the days when railways were almost unknown.  In 1853 Holyoke, now known as one of the most important paper-making centers of the world, had it's first paper-making machine, but soon afterwards many mills were built there in rapid succession and Goddard, Rice and Company built them all, and acquired the manufacturing rights to many of the early and valuable inventions.  


It is interesting to note that the name of the American workman who was associated with the invention was attached to each: Harper Fourdrinier, Hultoa wire guide, Gavitt cutter, Phelps cylinder dryer, Van de Water water-wheel, Kneeland layboy and Barrows tentering machine.


In 1862 the company redesigned and modernized its works and made machinery of new and heavier patterns, and the new firm of Rice, Barton and Company came into existence, with their former manager Fales as partner.  


In 1867, after the Civil War, the business was incorporated as Rice, Barton and Fales Machine and Iron Company. By 1897 they had built the largest machine in the world, a Fourdrinier, which made an 152 in. width of finished paper and ran at a speed of 500ft/min.


Robert Couture
Phone: 508-864-8675
Email: RBC1992@aol.com
Fax: 508-987-6346

Hours of Operation
Monday - Friday: 8am - 4pm

36 Horne Homestead Rd.
Charlton, MA 01507​