The Story of Seaman Paper
Today Seaman Paper Company is the leading supplier of lightweight decorative tissue papers for retail packaging, consumer products and industrial lightweight papers. We have grown globally through continuous innovation of our product line with a strong focus on sustainable manufacturing.
Seaman Paper Company originated in Chicago, Illinois. It was formed by three Seaman brothers and George Jones. The company filled a need between the paper mills and the printers and converters, and at one point was the largest paper merchant house in the United States.
The depression, plus the deaths of George Seaman and George Jones, caused the paper merchant operation to decline. In 1946 the Seaman’s decided to buy a paper mill in Otter River. They asked George Jones II, who was just leaving the navy after World War II, if he would run the mill. Mr. Jones was only 13 years old when he lost his father, and had worked summers in the paper mill as he was growing up. This was his opportunity to run his own mill, and Mr. Jones dedicated his life to making it work.
The Mill and Jumbo Rolls
When Mr. Jones came to the mill in 1946, it contained one machine running 300 feet/minute, producing napkin and toweling. Over the years, Mr. Jones invested in new equipment and added a second machine. He positioned the mill to make carbonizing tissue, a technical specialty grade. Carbonizing was 100% of the mill production in the 1960’s and 1970’s. His investments created Seaman’s ability to manufacture high quality lightweight papers, which would be important in allowing the company to respond to market changes.
In 1979, Mr. Jones sons, George and Jamie, joined the business. That same year the demand for carbonizing plummeted as alternatives gained popularity. By 1982 Seaman was completely out of carbonizing tissue and was producing jumbo rolls of directory opaque printing and bond paper. The Joneses realized that they were competing with much larger mills and they would need to find markets where they would be more important to their customers. Seaman’s expertise was manufacturing lightweight papers, so they targeted value added products made from lightweight papers which they produced.
During the next 30 years, Seaman developed converting capabilities to sheet, fold, print, wax, crepe, coat, slit and interfold. This allowed Seaman to market reams of wrapping tissue, consumer tissue folds, crepe streamers and folds, interleaving, food service and other lightweight specialties. Seaman’s domestic operations cover over 900,000 square feet and employ over 700 people. During this period the Jones Family negotiated a purchase plan with the Seamans, and now the Jones Family owns 100% of Seaman Paper Company of Massachusetts Inc.
In 2000 Globalization started to affect Seaman and its customers. Seaman responded by creating Seaman Paper Asia (SPA) in Hong Kong in 2003 and Seaman Packaging Materials in Dongguan. This allowed Seaman to source, manufacture and trade in Hong Kong and mainland China. A dedicated manufacturing source in Vietnam was established in 2009. Seaman distributes its products throughout Europe from Its Leicester, UK warehouse, which are sourced from both the U.S. and Asia. Seaman has positioned itself to support the Global supply chains of its customers.
Seaman continues to develop new products and to invest in new equipment to meet its customers evolving needs. We are also investing in new talent (including the next generation of Jones) to guide our future growth.