There’s a part of us that winces when we see a video where some of the oldest things on Earth are crashing to the ground but the reality is that California Redwood was (and still is) a pretty amazing material for human beings to build homes and a multitude of other things with. The wood has a natural resistance to insects and while it will burn, it puts up a better fight than other wood varieties do before it ignites. This video is about logging redwoods.
Back when the logging started in California there were about two million acres of Redwood trees and by the time conservations efforts really ramped up and slowed the logging down in the latter part of the first half of the 20th century it left California with about 130,000 acres and the biggest, baddest of the breed left. These trees were not wasted. Virtually every part of them was used. The bark for insulation and the lumber cut from them for houses, railroad ties, and other projects. It wasn’t as if these things were chopped down for fun and left on the ground.
This video concentrates on the interesting process of felling the trees and eventually turning them into lumber. The guys that did this work have to have been some of the toughest SOBs in the country. Between the conditions, the heat, the unending work before them, and the crazy amounts of danger they faced on a daily basis, every day was a literal adventure.
We’ll see axes and wedges, two man saws, and even some powered man-eating saws by the end of the video. Vintage equipment to drag the stuff out, steam locomotives to get the logs to the mill, and then cool old sawmills to finish the process. Note the guy stacking boards at the end. How much to you want to bet that he rode that log stacking contraption to the ground every night?!