William Vansittart Bowater founded the Bowater company in London in the 1880s as a paper wholesaler and agent for the purchase of newsprint on behalf of newspaper publishers. Bowaters then developed through contacts with Alfred Harmsworth and Edward Lloyd (Daily Chronicle). Following the founder’s death in 1907, Bowaters became a limited liability private company named W V Bowater and sons Ltd. Bowaters’ first step towards becoming a paper manufacturer was the purchase of a site at Crete Hall Road, Northfleet in May 1914. World War 1 interrupted the firm’s plans and it was not until 1923 that the construction of a paper mill could be considered. As a result of problems during the construction phase, full production did not start on the site until July 1925. Bowaters’ business plan was based on rapid expansion and by the end of 1930 the company produced 22% of the total UK output of newsprint.Wartime controls to divert resources to the war effort meant that the Northfleet Mill had to close down completely. After the war, a rapid revival of demand for newsprint appeared unlikely so the company diversified into paper packaging. This strategy continued to be effective so that by the mid 1950s the company entered into the rapidly growing tissue market. The company was taken over by the Scott Paper Group in the mid 1980s
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|GSA Library||Special Collection (Ask at Desk) 'Modernist Architecture'/BOW||Nos. 1-4 (1950-1958)|