The mill “De Schoolmeester” (The School-teacher)

The mill “De Schoolmeester” (The School-teacher) on the Guispad at Westzaan

The mill “De Schoolmeester” (The School-teacher), in former times also nicknamed as “De Gauwdief” (quick-thief), is dated from 1692. It is a hexagonal bovenkruier (windmill of which only the cap is movable) with scaffolding. Together with the nearby mill Het Prinsenhof (The Prince's Court) situated.

De Schoolmeester is a smock mill on the Guispad at Westzaan, Noord Holland, the Netherlands which is maintained in full working order. This unique paper mill - De Schoolmeester windmill is listed as Rijksmonument (State Monument or National Monument) number 40013. Before steam engines, wind and turf were the energy source for the early industries of the Zaan region. Open most workdays from 10.00 to 16.00, entrance € 2,50.

Remarkable is the very large barn for drying the paper. A part of the going works of the paper-mill must come from the pulled down paper-mill “Het Springend Hert” (The Jumping Deer) in the Frisian Makkum. “De Schoolmeester”, since 1976 owned by “De Zaansche Molen”, is the only existing and working wind-paper-mill in the world. On the other side is Mill “De jonge Dirk” (The young Dirk).

The love of the former owners, fam. De Jong, saved this unique mill from the demolishing-hammer in the past.

History Of The mill “De Schoolmeester” (The School-teacher)

A number of important discoveries were made on the Zaan, including the beater tub, the so-called 'Hollander'. The principles of paper-making consist of separating the fibres of textile waste such as rugs, old rope and fish nets. By making use of the beater tub it was possible to reduce the time involved by 75% while considerably improving the quality of the paper at the same time.

First mention is made of a paper mill along the Zaan in 1605, but it is likely the first one was around four years earlier. The first Zaan paper mills made only grey, blue and 'bond' paper, as De Schoolmeester mill still does today. The production of white paper was yet to come.

De Schoolmeester was built in 1692. It is also known by the nickname De Gauwdief. The name De Schoolmeester (English: The Schoolmaster) probably denotes the occupation of one of the founders. The mill originally made grey paper. In 1778, the mill was powering two Hollander beaters. In 1852, the mill was bought by Gerbrand de Jong, who owned another wind-powered paper mill, De Kaarsenmaker at Zaandijk. He bought another nearby paper mill, De Vergulde Bijenkorf in 1854.

In 1871, the mills were owned by Gebroeders de Jong, who demolished De Kaarsenmaker in the autumn of 1873. In 1877, the mill was modernised and a steam engine installed as auxiliary power. This meant that the mill was uninsureable against fire. In 1902, the nearby De Vergulde Bijenkorf burnt down. A steam driven paper factory was erected to replace it. This factory was able to make white paper. A fire started at De Schoolmeester in 1915 but was extinguished. In 1948, the steam engine was replaced by a Ford gas engine. On 1 March 1949, the drying sheds were damaged in a storm, with over 30 metres (98 ft) of them being affected. They were rebuilt shorter than they had been previously. On 28 August 1957, De Schoolmeester was sold to Vereniging van Nederlandsche Papierfabrikanten by the de Jongs. In 1964, the gas engine was replaced by a Bernard diesel engine. In 1977, the mill was bought by Vereniging Zaansche Molens. The diesel engine was replaced by an electric motor in 1979. A four-year restoration of the mill at a cost of €450,000 was completed in June 2002. The work included complete renewal of the drying sheds.

Visiting hours and others details info about Mill “De Schoolmeester” (The School-teacher)on the Guispad at Westzaan, Zaanstad, Zaandam; Visit: Click here



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