Paper Mill Homburg

by Bert Schwarz

In the historic paper mill in Homburg am Main, Johannes Follmer crafts fine paper from cotton fibres and glue by hand like his ancestors.

The Bischbach creek, which rises very close by, was the reason why 200 years ago the papermaker Leonhard Leinzinger dismantled his mill in Windheim and had it rebuilt in Homburg am Main. Today, Johannes Follmer is the fifth generation of papermakers.

Story, Camera, Edit : Bert Schwarz

© travel-magazine TV 2021

In the Homburg Paper Mill Museum, we set off on a journey back in time through the history of artisanal and industrial papermaking in a historic setting. With its distinctive pagoda-like hipped roof, the paper mill is one of the landmarks of the picturesque wine-growing village of Homburg in Lower Franconia, surrounded by the River Main and vineyards.

Papiermühle Homburg © Bert Schwarz
Bischbach © Bert Schwarz

From 1807 - when the papermaking tradition was established in Homburg - until the mill was shut down in 1975, paper and cardboard were produced using water power. Clean process water and sufficient energy to drive the water wheel system were supplied by the Bischbach creek, which rose not far from the mill building.

Papiermühle Homburg © Bert Schwarz
Papiermühle Homburg © Bert Schwarz

The range of the former handmade papers included various writing and printing papers. Machines such as the Dutchman or the pan grinder for producing paper pulp later paved the way for industrial production in the paper mill. The cylinder mould machine, which was used in Homburg from 1887, made it possible to produce colored file covers. Homburg paper products were sold throughout Germany and exported as far as overseas.

Papiermühle Homburg © Bert Schwarz
Papiermühle Homburg © Bert Schwarz

Right next to the former production facilities the living quarters of the papermaker's family were located. Working and living were closely connected. After extensive renovation, the paper mill now presents itself as a museum that is unique in all of southern Germany. Today, handmade papers are once again produced in the paper mill using sieves and vats. The fine handmade papers are offered for sale in the museum, among other places, for use by artists.

Papiermühle Homburg © Bert Schwarz
Papiermühle Homburg © Bert Schwarz
Papiermühle Homburg © Bert Schwarz
Papiermühle Homburg © Bert Schwarz