Southworth Celebrates First Anniversary for 165th Time

April 29 Is Official Birthday for Massachusetts Paper Company

March 31, Agawam, Mass. – The year 2004 marks the 165th anniversary of the founding of Southworth Company, a leading producer and marketer of fine cotton-fiber business paper and related products. The company held its first organizational meeting on April 29, 1839, a date which serves as the official “birthday.” Given that paper is the traditional gift of a first anniversary, Southworth chooses to celebrate its first-year anniversary for the 165th time.

When Wells Southworth and his brother Edward, the two largest investors in the initial subscription of $30,000, set up the company – then called the Southworth Manufacturing Company – they built their mill in Mittineague, in the area west of Springfield, Massachusetts. Before the concept of market segments existed, they set out to make fine cotton-fiber paper for government and business use. Southworth is still located in the same town where it first opened its paper mill, is owned and run by the same founding family, and continues to produce the same high quality cotton-fiber paper with which it began.

“In the 165 years succeeding the company’s founding,” says David Southworth, president and a fifth generation member of the family, “the paper industry has undergone many changes. The particular segment occupied by Southworth has seen some of the most serious challenges but we have found opportunities where others see headaches, and made profits where others see problems.”

In the past two years, Southworth’s line of products has evolved radically, adding papers with contemporary colors, textures and shapes. Southworth markets products suited to both small-to-medium-sized businesses and computer-savvy consumers, with products such as presentation kits, awards, wedding invitations, and an array of die-cut, textured and colored stationery. And it continues to lead the market for résumé stationery with 100-percent cotton-fiber papers.

Underpinning Southworth Company’s strengths is the belief and knowledge that there will always be a need for premium cotton-fiber paper. If a document is important and needs to last, it has to be printed on heavy-weight, cotton-fiber paper, otherwise it will deteriorate and be worthless. In short, there will always be wills and wedding invitations, résumés and cover letters, proclamations and presentations.

Southworth Company is located in Agawam, the heart of the “Pioneer Valley” of western Massachusetts.


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