Logging with Tractors in the Maine Woods

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PHOTO: Museum L-A site work begins

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Textile industry heritage celebrated
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Logging with Tractors in the Maine Woods

Popular Science Monthly, 1916

LOGGING has remained for generations the most primitive of all modern operations. The logging railroad is a comparatively recent development, but even that falls far short’of being an active agent in reducing the vast waste necessitated by the fact that only such timbers can be moved out as will pay for expensive transportation. In the tropics a mahogany log worth hundreds of dollars in New York is valued at only a few demonetized dollars as it stands in its forest, and almost priceless hardwoods are left to rot or burned up in the clearing of ground simply because they cannot be “squared” to the formal size, about one foot on each side.

To a lesser degree the same problem faces the timber cutter in the forests of our own country. The long hauls through the woods to streams or roads, even to the roughest sort of logging roads, is discouragingly expensive, and from there to the railroad or mill entails another long haul with primitive means, either oxen or horses.

Modern power appliances are, however, slowly coming into use as they prove their worth. In certain sections of the Maine woods, where logging is the winter occupation of fanners from nearby sections, tractors are now in use. The drive on these engines is by caterpillar wheels, broad enough to keep from sinking into the snow, and the forward part of the tractor is mounted on sleigh runners, which are turned by hand to guide the tractor and its train of logging sleds.

The tractor is crude in a way, but it can reach sections of forest country to which even the ordinary logging railroad, with its clumsy engine, cannot readily penetrate.

In the tractor shown here, the runners at the front make steering easy and accurate. The unwieldy front wheels of the ordinary tractor would hardly serve in the forest.

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Categories: articles, breaking news, events, headlines, historic preservation, history, museum news, stories, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , | 2 Comments

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2 thoughts on “Logging with Tractors in the Maine Woods

  1. Sheila J. Thurston

    This pictures are of my Great-Grandfather’s logging operation in Somerset County, Maine. They are from “Taylor Bros Logging”

  2. Sheila J. Thurston

    I have many more in digital form if you are interested…

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