On Friday 21 June Frogmore Paper Mill was presented with the 2019 Engineering Heritage Award by the Institute of Mechanical Engineers.
This prestigious award recognises the significance of Frogmore as the site of the world’s first mechanical paper making machine installed in 1803. The Fourdrinier Paper Machine was invented by Louis Robert and perfected by Bryan Donkin. Frogmore is also the current home of the world’s earliest paper machine built specifically for research purposes in 1902.
In presenting the award Mr John Wood, Chairman of the IMechE Awards Committee, said: ‘When it comes to deciding awards it is often not an easy decision to make. Our aim is always to ensure that only the very best and unique are honoured by the award, now in its 36th year.
‘With Frogmore Paper Mill the awards committee was unanimous in its decision. We consider Frogmore Mill to be every bit as important as previously honoured sites such as Tower Bridge, The Channel Tunnel, the Castle Bromwich Spitfire Assembly Plant and the Victorian Ropery at Chatham Historic Dockyard. The committee considered the significance of the Foudrinier Paper Machine in improving the world through engineering ranks it alongside former award-winning machines like Concorde, Stephenson’s Locomotive 1, the Whittle Jet engine, the Hovercraft and Alan Turings Bombe at Bletchley Park.’
Accepting the award on behalf of the Apsley Paper Trail Trust, operators of Frogmore Paper Mill, Peter Burford, Visitor Services Manager said: ‘We are particularly delighted that this Engineering Heritage Award recognises the significance of the both the Paper Mill and the Paper Machine for – as the citation reads – improving the world through engineering. The trust exists to remind the public of how true this statement is and to remember how significant the availability of the cheap and plentiful paper it made possible has been in shaping the world we live in today. Having heard some of the previous award recipients, we are indeed honoured to be included in such exalted company.’