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
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.