Associated Pulp and Paper Mills Ltd. was Burnie’s first major secondary industry, established in 1938. It utilised the natural timber resources around Burnie to make paper. The impact of the industry on Burnie’s growth and economic development was dramatic. In 1937 Burnie had a population of about 4,000. By 1945 the population had more than doubled to 10,000.
“The Pulp”, as it was commonly known, began production with nearly 500 people employed at the mill and about 200 in the bush. At its peak in the 1950s and 60s, APPM Ltd and its subsidiaries, Paper Makers Ltd and Burnie Board and Timber, employed about 3500 people.
The Pulp also provided the first substantial employment opportunities for women in Burnie. Before the advent of automation, about 400 women and girls were employed to inspect finished sheets of paper for blemishes and to count the reams by hand. It was painfully monotonous work.
The museum holds all sorts of documents relating to the company and its development, as well as an extensive collection of photographs.