Unformatted text preview: Early Commercial Uses of the Forest The Agrarian Economy Percentage of Farmers in the U.S. Workforce
100 90 80 70 Percent 60 50 40 30 20 10 0 1790 1840 1890 1940 1990 From a Feudal to a Free Society Abandoned Indian Fields and Clearings Were Settled First The major difference between European settlement and Indian settlement was the European concept of land ownership permanence U.S. Population: 1790 - 1860
35 30 Population in Millions 25 20 15 10 5 0 1790 1800 1810 1820 1830 1840 1850 1860 Forested Acres in the U.S.
1200 1000 MM Acres 800 600 400 200 0 1630 1760 1800 1850 1900 1953 1963 1977 1987 1997 2006 Year Population in Millions 100 150 200 250 300 50 0
17 90 18 10 18 3 0 18 50 18 70 18 90 19 10 19 30 19 50 19 70 19 90 U.S. Population: 1790 - 2000 The Lumber Industry The first sawmill in America was reportedly established between 1623 and 1633 in what is now Maine. Like many early industries, lumbering as a recognizable industry was established first and was strongest in New England Sawn Products Sawmills appeared in America before they did in England. Sawmills spread everywhere throughout the colonies by the time of the American Revolution. But Maine was the focal point of the growing industry. The products they provided were consumed in domestic and export markets Old Sturbridge Village, MA The Timber Trade Began about 1640 (Great Migration: 1630-1640) Ports: Falmouth, Portsmouth, Salem, Marblehead, Boston, Fall River, Providence, New London, New Haven (all in New England) Trading Partners: Britain, the West Indies, Spain, Portugal, the Wine Islands of the Azores, Madeira and the Canaries. The Timber Trade "Only premiumquality timber products were exported" due to the economics of transport (Williams, p. 101). Masts, potash, and naval stores were shipped to Britain White oak barrel and pipestaves were shipped to the Wine Islands of the Azores White oak staves for rum casks and red oak staves for sugar and molasses barrels and hogsheads were sent to the West Indies The Timber Trade As the timber of the Indies was depleted in the mid-17th century, exports of planks, boards, clapboards, and shingles from New England became common The Timber Trade Return journeys brought back molasses, rum and cotton from the West Indies, wine from the Mediterranean, and slaves from Africa. Cargoes also included tropical timber such as mahogany. "With the flour or grist mill, the sawmill was the first local industry established in the subsistence economies of the newly settled areas. As new ground was cleared, some of the timber (usually pine) was sent to the mill to be made into clapboards, flooring planks, beams, and other house and general constructional materials."
Michael Williams, Americans and Their Forests (p. 95) 1850 Census of Manufacturing
1. 2. 3. 4. 5. Flour & Grist (14%) Lumber (5.9%) Cotton Goods (4.8%) Clothing (4.8%) Woolen Goods (4.8%) 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. Leather (4.4%) Liquor (2.7%) Slaughtering & meat packing (1.0%) Agricultural implements (0.8%) Paper & pulp (0.3%) Improvements in Sawing Technology Water-powered mills Developed ca. 1620 Early mills were powered by water in an up-and-down motion Blades were stationary Logs were either pushed or mechanically ratcheted into the blade Crude but a vast improvement over the pit saw Improvements in Sawing Technology:
Water-powered single blade sawmill
"The saw was attached to one end of a wood beam that joined a crank on a water wheel. The log moved on a cogwheeldriven carriage (an American invention) against the saw. The wheels and the cogs were of wood, preferably hickory." (Youngquist and Fleischer, p. 23) Old Sturbridge Village, MA Improvements in Sawing Technology:
Water-powered single sash sawmill Old Sturbridge Village, MA Saw blade mounted in a wood frame Developed about the same time as the single-blade mill Sawed 2,0003,000 lineal feet per day Improvements in Sawing Technology:
Water-powered "muley" sawmill Adaptation of the singleblade sawmill Long-bladed, frameless saw Developed ca. 1780 (Williams, p. 167) Sawed 5,000-8,000 l.f. per day
Old Sturbridge Village, MA Improvements in Sawing Technology:
Water-powered circular sawmill Invented in 1813 by Tabitha Babbitt in the Shaker community of Harvard, Massachusetts Babbitt also invented one of the first cut nail-making machines Replaces reciprocal motion with rotary motion Sawed 500-1,200 l.f. per day Productivity of Sawmills
9000 8000 Lineal Feet per Day 7000 6000 5000 4000 3000 2000 1000 0 Pit Saw SingleBlade Single Sash Muley Saw Water-powered Sawmills Williams, Americans and Their Forests, Plate 6-1, Page 171 Williams, Americans and Their Forests, Plate 6-2, Page 171 Williams, Americans and Their Forests, Plate 6-3, Page 172 Williams, Americans and Their Forests, Plate 6-4, Page 172 Potash Made from the ashes of logs burned in the open A byproduct of land clearing Ashes were sold to asheries make potash Potash was a ready source of cash for farmers, allowing them to purchase goods they could not readily produce on their own Potash The Ashery Ashes leached in a kiln by pouring boiling water over them Repeated boiling and leaching produced a whiter, purer "pearlash" The liquid product was lye Potash The Ashery
"Lye was an alkali that was essential in the manufacture of soap and also for glass making, tanning, bleaching, cleaning greasy wool, calico printing, saltpeter for gunpowder, medicines, and a number of other chemical operations in which potassium carbonate compounds were needed."
Michael Williams, Americans and Their Forests Ironmaking
"For 150 years wood was the key energy source of the country.... Therefore, wood was the source of charcoal, which made the smelting of iron and the reduction of other metals possible." (Williams, p. 104) Ironmaking Estimated 1-6 acres of hardwood forest per day was consumed to make charcoal for an iron furnace Williams (p. 106) estimates that 150 acres were consumed for every ton of pig iron produced Ironmaking Only 11 of 173 iron furnaces in England were using charcoal as fuel in 1806 In contrast, 439 of 560 American furnaces burned charcoal as late as 1856 Transportation The covered bridge was developed to protect the bridge deck from the elements ...
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