Strathmore Celebrates 120 Years


Strathmore Artist Papers is proud of our heritage and legacy of producing quality fine art papers. It began on March 17, 1892 when Horace A. Moses turned the first shovel of dirt for a new paper mill in West Springfield, Massachusetts. Called the Mittineague Paper Company, the mill began producing writing papers, bookkeeping papers and cotton-fiber artist papers in December of 1892.

In the mid-1890’s, Mr. Moses made a trip to the Strathmore Valley in Scotland and became inspired by its beauty and the blooming August thistles. By 1895 Mr. Moses began using the phrase “Strathmore Quality” and the thistle as a symbol of the highest quality papers. The symbol of the thistle has taken on different appearances throughout the years, but it continues to signify excellence in art papers.


files/content/blog/2012/thistle ad 1.jpg

By the late 1890’s, charcoal paper along with illustration and drawing boards displayed the Strathmore brand. The above ad appeared in the October 1900 issue of Architectural Illustration Magazine.

By 1905, the Strathmore artist portfolio of professional grade papers included Detailed Drawing Paper along with Illustrating and Patent Office Board.


This early advertisement from the 1930’s in the Art Materials Trade News entices retailers to keep their shelves stocked with Strathmore papers. In that same period, we also created the slogan, “Paper is Part of the Picture.” This slogan continue to be part of our communication pieces.


In the 1940’s through 1950’s, Strathmore ran a series of advertisements that featured “Prominent Artist Users of Strathmore.” Norman Rockwell was one of a number of wellknown artists featured during this period. His ad appeared in American Artist and Famous Artists Magazine in 1957.

The 1940’s and 1950’s also saw rapid growth with the introduction of many Alexis (now 400 Series) papers and a line of blank greeting cards. Greeting card and illustration contests have woven their way in and out of the fabric of our marketing programs since the 1940’s.


In the 1960’s, Strathmore ran a series of ads featuring college students explaining why they use Strathmore. This ad campaign was memorable. We still receive calls from artists or family members looking for copies of the ads or information about the individuals featured.

By the mid-1970’s, three quality levels of Strathmore® papers addressed the needs of student, recreational and professional artists.

In 1974, 300 Series is developed and Alexis becomes 400 Series. Our premium 100% cotton papers take on the title 500 Series.

Today the Strathmore® brand represents a complete line of artist quality papers for all media and every level of expertise. This 120th anniversary we celebrate the proud heritage of Strathmore, and our commitment to ensure that the legacy of quality, performance and longevity lives on.

Go back