Canadian Heritage

Historical Vignettes

Archibald Fraser: an Innovative Spirit

In 1925, both sides of the Saint John River will be connected following the construction of a paper mill in Madawaska, Maine. At the same time the Edmundston mill undergoes expansion. A pipeline joining both mills will allow the Edmundston mill to send its pulp to be transformed in the Madawaska mill.3 For many years that follow, Fraser will provide work and feed families as much on one side of the border than the other.

It is worth mentioning that the forestry industry is in full transition during Archibald Fraser's presidency of the Fraser Company, which would shape the company's destiny. Following the First World War, the forestry industry does not do as well with saw timber as it does with pulp and paper.4

Archibald Fraser saw his career develop at a time of rapid change; his success is certainly due to the fact that he adapted particularly well to the switchover of a forest economy based on sawing, to one based on pulp and paper. He was able to anticipate the added value of black spruce over pine trees as raw material in the making of paper, and for that reason, he became a precursor.5