The stationer known as “Papeteries Verilhac Freres” was founded in Lyon, France in 1932 by two brothers, Henri and Robert Verilhac. They came from a family of paper merchants, with two brothers from the previous generation having set up a family business selling paper mainly in the southern part of France and North Africa.
In 1934, the company moved from Lyon to Sechilienne near Grenoble in the French Alps. The name “Rhodia” comes from the Rhone, a river flowing by Lyon dividing the Alps from the Massif Central. Production of their notepad began that year.
The company was purchased by Clairefontaine in 1997 and production transferred to Mulhouse, in Alsace, France. Members of the Verilhac family still work for Rhodia.
The Rhodia logo dates back to 1932. Legend has it that the two Rhodia fir trees symbolize the two founding brothers.
The Rhodia notebook, originally a sideline for Rhodia, was to become its most famous product. It immediately overshadowed other notebooks of the time because of its quality materials and original design of a scored front cover. The orange cover dates back to the 1930s. It remains unchanged to this day.
More specifically I am raving about the orange Pad N°16 Rhodia that I picked up at Francis Ford Coppola’s restaurant Cafe Zoetrope in San Francisco. Since the legendary film writer/director swears by these wonderful little pads so do I. If you are in the Bay Area they sell Rhodia pads in Cafe Zoetrope and at Coppola’s Rubicon Estate winery gift shop in Napa Valley.
Also available online: $1.50-$7
Always tons of great Rhodia info available on the RhodiaDrive blog.