Fenerty, Charles, 1821-1892

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Fenerty, Charles, 1821-1892

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Charles Fenerty was born in 1821 in Springfield Lake, Nova Scotia, the second son of James Fenerty and Elizabeth Lawson, farmers and sawyers. He is most well known as the first inventor of wood pulp paper, although no commercial success came out of his own discoveries. He subsequently turned to writing verse and took first prize at the Nova Scotia industrial exhibition in 1854 for “Betula Nigra,” a poem celebrating a giant black birch on the family farm.

Fenerty moved to Australia in the late 1850s, where he may have worked in the goldmining industry. After his return to Nova Scotia he married Ann Maria Hamilton in 1868 and farmed in the Sackville area. At various times he served as health warden for his district, measurer of wood, overseer of the poor, and county tax collector. He was also active in the Anglican Church as a lay reader. He was a staunch Conservative, supported the temperance cause, and opposed tobacco smoking. He died in 1892 in Sackville, Nova Scotia.


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