Paper Pulleys, Inc., in Columbia, Tennessee, continues the decades old business of making pulleys and friction wheels from laminated discs of paper and fiber materials.
Paper pulleys were invented in 1882 and were soon being mass produced and sold as Rockwood pulleys to satisfy a growing demand for use on industrial and agricultural machinery.
The Rockwood Company thrived and by 1927 employed 400 workers, making up to 4,400 pulleys per day. But by 1950, industry was converting to V-belt and/or hydraulic drives, and new farm equipment was designed with a power take off (PTO) shaft instead of a belt pulley. Consequently, the production of paper pulleys declined.
In 1949 assets of The Rockwood Company were sold to the Browning Manufacturing Company in Maysville, Kentucky. Browning continued to supply paper pulleys and fiber friction wheels to a declining market until 1979, when Paper Pulleys, Inc. bought and moved all of the pulley making machinery and equipment to Columbia, Tennessee.
Paper Pulleys, Inc. continues to make high quality paper pulleys and friction wheels using basically the same materials and equipment that have stood the test of time, producing pulleys and frictions that have proven superior for a number of applications.