A lost poem

Tom Jackson
Mar 23, 2010

The glory days of Sandusky’s Paper District are mostly gone.

In its heyday, though, the paper district didn’t just employ many Sandusky residents. It could even produce poetry.

Pierre Drewsen, a chemical engineer with the old Hinde and Dauch Paper Company, wrote a sonnet praising the machines that make big rolls of paper, such as the ones the Sandusky Register is printed on. According to a handwritten note Drewsen sent in February 1939 to Sandusky Library librarian Dorothy Keefe, the poem was printed in the June 1935 issue of “The Paper Industry.”

To the Paper Machine

A monument to human thought you stand

Niagara like. Unceasingly you roll

Over your frames a clean, unwritten scroll

On which the future’s deeds will leave their brand.

What messages will glide throughout the land

Inscribed upon your white! From pole to pole,

What goods wrapped in your film will seek their goal

Within our shores, or on a foreign strand!

The sturdy lads who feed your tanks and turn

Your wheels; who guide your wires and blankets straight,

Show in their well drilled movements small concern

For those forgotten men, who, long and late

Toiled through the night o’er bench and board to earn

Oblivion — that your product might be great!

  

                              

            — Pierre Drewsen

No doubt the English majors among you recognize that Mr. Drewsen penned a Petrarchan sonnet.

Will future English majors have to be told what “paper” is?