National Geographic : 1899 May
REDWOOD FORESTS OF THE PACIFIC COAST with about 75 men, all splendid specimens of manhood and all black as negroes-faces, hands, and clothing-from the charcoal in which they work, but well read, intelligent, and interested in the doings of the outside world. The mills of the redwood strip are as progressive and up to date as are the logging operations. The logs and the lumber are moved and handled everywhere by machinery in the most complete and ingenious manner. They are drawn from the pond up into the mills and are rolled on to the carriage and moved into place for the saw by ingenious devices operated by steam. The logs are sawed by band saws-a continuous band of steel, with teeth cut on one edge, running over drums above and below. This is preferable to the circular saw for two rea sons: it can saw a log of almost any size, which the buzz saw or any combination of buzz saws cannot do; and, second, since it can be made much thinner than the buzz saw, there is less waste of wood in sawdust. In some mills the band saws have teeth cut on each edge, so that a cut may be made both as the log moves forward and backward. The boards, beams, joists, plank, etc., as they come from the band saw, are distributed by rollers, steam-worked, to the proper parts of the mill for future cutting, while the slabs and other waste are similarly carried off to waste heaps. The lumber, as it comes from the band saw, is edged, cut to smaller dimensions, etc., by small circular saws, in some cases harnessed in gangs, so that several cuts are made at once. To watch the wheels go round in one of these big mills is a most entrancing occupation. Redwood is in almost universal use on the California coast. In the construction of houses little other timber is used, even as far south as Los Angeles and San Diego. It is exported as far south as Valparaiso, Chili, and westward to Japan and Australia. Indeed, considering its cheapness, $14 per thousand feet in Eureka for the best, it seems strange that it has not found its way in quantity to the Atlantic coast. Certain it is that before many years redwood will supplant the now vanishing white pine in eastern markets.