1150: Moors use cannabis to start Europe’s first paper mill

1150: Moors use cannabis to start Europe's first paper mill

1150: Moors use cannabis to start Europe’s first paper mill.

The Moorish conquest of Spain brought papermaking into Europe. Using hemp and linen rags as a source of fiber, the first recorded paper mill in the Iberian Peninsula started operating in Xativa in 1151.[2]

Both Spain and Italy claim to be the first to manufacture paper in Europe.[3] One of the first paper mills in Europe was in Xativa (now Jativa or St. Felipe de Javita in the ancient city of Valencia, and it can be dated to CE 1151. [3]

Some scholars claim that the Arabs built the Xativa mill in approximately CE 1009. Papermaking continued under Moorish rule until 1244 when the Moors were expelled. Papermaking then began to spread across Christian Europe gradually.[4]

The first paper mill in France was built in 1190, and by 1276 the first mills were established in Italy. Papermaking spread further northwards, with evidence of paper being made in Troyes, France by 1348, in Holland sometime around 1340–1350, in Mainz, Germany in 1320, and Nuremberg by 1390. The latter, established by Ulman Stromer, was the first permanent paper mill north of the Alpes.

1. http://www.al-bab.com/arab/literature/lit.htm)
2. FULLEN, Neathery Batsell (2002): A Brief history of paper. Retrieved 2011-01-24.
4. HUNTER, Dard (1970): Papermaking. The History and Technique of and Ancient Craft. Dover publications, New York.

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