Archive for the ‘Photo Galleries’ Category

The four new photo galleries added to our website today provide a unique look into various aspects of the lives of loggers outside of the forest work environment.  These new online galleries, containing nearly 150 historic photos, feature subjects such as Logging Camp Food, Logging Communities, Family Life, and Logger Rodeos.

The Logging Camp Food gallery provides images of logging camp dining halls, kitchens, cooks, food service staff, and meals served.  And not to peddle logger stereotypes, but yes, pancakes are prominently involved:


Big Paul Searls eating a logger's breakfast.

If this gallery leaves you hungry for more information, I would also suggest taking a look at “Old Boy, Did You Get Enough of Pie?: A Social History of Food in Logging Camps” by Joseph R. Conlin from the October 1979 issue of Journal Of Forest History, which provides a great historical look at the types of food found in 19th and 20th century logging camps.

Moving away from pancakes and pie, the Logging Community and Family Life galleries include images of the homes, schools, and towns connected with the logging industry.  The Logger Rodeos gallery features historic photos of logging contests and competitions.  Anyone who’s caught a late-night ESPN2 broadcast of the Great Outdoor Games will be familiar with the contests found in these images, such as log bucking, tree felling, and the always popular birling, or log rolling competition:


For more logger photos, also check out this previous blog post.   To browse the full subject listing of all previously posted photo galleries, visit this page.

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Six brand new photo galleries featuring more than 160 historic photos documenting various aspects of river log drives were added to our website today.  River drives were a standard way of moving large amounts of cut timber to sawmills during the late 19th and early 20th centuries, prior to the expansion and adoption of railroads and trucks for log transport.  Images of the men known as “river pigs” who worked on these drives, laboring to keep the rivers clear and the logs moving down the middle of the channel, are found in the Drivers gallery.

Other galleries contain images of Log Driver Equipment, Logs in the River, Splash Dams, and Wanigans.  (Wanigans were the floating cookhouses and supply rafts that moved downriver with the log drivers, keeping them fed and supplied with any needed items.)  Also included is a gallery of Log Jam photos, showing one of the many hazards of working a log drive.  While attempting to break large jams in the river, drivers risked falling, being crushed by logs, and drowning.

A large portion of the photos in these new galleries are of the Potlatch Corp. log drives which took place on a 90-mile stretch of the Clearwater River in northern Idaho.  The Clearwater River drives began in the late 1920s and ran nearly every spring until the final run in 1971, the last large-scale whitewater log drive in the U.S.  For more detailed information on the famed Clearwater River log drive, including a map of the route, see “Clearwater River Log Drives: A Photo Essay” from the Fall 2000 issue of Forest History Today.

Visit the new Log Drivers, Driver Equipment, Logs in River, Splash Dams, Wanigans, and Log Jams photo galleries, and for other topics, check out our previously posted subject galleries here.

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Two new online photo galleries have just been added to our website today.  The new “Loggers” gallery features more than 80 historic photos of loggers posing while at work in the field.

Photos in this gallery showcase the outdoor working environment as well as the individual personalities of many of the loggers:

The second new gallery features 115 historic photos of Logging Camps.  This gallery shows the appearance and layout of various logging camps throughout the country, as well as presenting snapshots of day-to-day camp life.

Visit the new Loggers and Logging Camp galleries, and as always, you can browse previously posted subject photo galleries here.

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On September 17, 2008, FHS’s own Technical Archivist Eben Lehman participated in a news conference sponsored by the Alabama Forest Owners’ Association, Inc.  The AFOA advocates for owners of Alabama forestland and strives to keep members informed on matters related to forest ownership.

As part of his segment, Eben highlighted the riches of the Forest History Society’s Photo Archives, including efforts to digitize over 25,000 historic photographs focused on forestry and the natural environment. Images are continually added to a publicly-accessible online database.  Additionally, Eben provided suggestions for documenting and organizing personal photo collections.

Capital Ideas – Interview with Eben Lehman of the Forest History Society (4min 23sec)

In this podcast, Eben referred to the following resources:

I do hope you enjoy this excellent introduction to our historic images, as well as hints to managing personal photograph collections.

If you would like to suggest further podcast topics, please comment below or contact us by phone or email.

The original podcast, in its entirety, is available through the AFOA site.

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As historic photographs in the FHS collections are digitized and added to our online image database, photos are also periodically grouped into browsable online galleries organized by subject.  The newest gallery, just added to our website, features images relating to World War I.  Much of this set is made up of photos documenting the important behind-the-scenes war work done by the Forest Products Laboratory in Madison, Wisconsin.  Workers at the laboratory performed tests and experiments on all types of wood products used by American soldiers.  Items such as the wooden boxes and packing crates designed for transporting mortar shells were built and tested at the laboratory.

The strength of these boxes was thoroughly put to the test by a giant, 27 ton rotating metal drum used at the Laboratory.  This drum effectively measured the durability of the wooden boxes and crates built to transport various war materials such as shells, bombs, and foodstuffs.

The Laboratory also conducted much of the American aircraft-related research done during the war, such as testing wooden airplane wings and propellers.  One project involved testing the effectiveness of propellers made from different species of wood under closely controlled conditions.  (For more information on wooden aircraft during WWI, see “Wooden Aircraft and the Great War” from the October 1978 issue of the Journal of Forest History).

The work done by the Laboratory did not end with WWI, as even today wood products play a role in military efforts.  In 2006, the Forest Products Laboratory performed tests on the wooden propellers of the Shadow 200 tactical unmanned aircraft, which are currently used by the U.S. Army for reconnaissance and surveillance in Iraq.

Visit the complete World War I gallery here.
Browse previously posted photo galleries, organized by subject here.

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