Taylor and Dixie County Logging

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Year

  • late 1930s - early 1940s

Video Details

  • 07:54; color; silent

Description

  • This rare home movie footage was shot in color by Charles L. "Buster" Borklund Jr. in Taylor and Dixie counties during the late 1930s and early 1940s. Borklund, an avid photographer, was an employee of Brooks Scanlon Lumber Company for 37 years, serving in many capacities, including timekeeper, paymaster, and commissary operator. This important film shows many of the processes involved in early 20th century logging operations, while also illustrating the inherent dangers surrounding this difficult work. Scenes include loggers using two person cross-cut saws and axes to fell a tree. A timber killing crew is shown girdling or killing a large cypress before marking it for payment and later removal. A "scaler" named, "Wash" Slaughter is shown measuring a log and calculating board footage. Timber cutting crews are shown using steam powered overhead skidders to pull logs through the forest. A signal man is shown followed by men attaching skidder tongs to a log. A man is filmed hanging from the tongs and riding over a large pile of logs. Caterpillar type crawler tractors are filmed pulling logs through the swamps. A steam powered crane loader is shown loading logs on a flatbed rail car. A clamshell crane is filmed dumping earth into open rail cars in preparation for a new railroad bed. A group of track layers are shown riding a small motorized track maintenance car and adjusting newly laid railroad tracks. The camp deliveryman and waste collector, "Old John" is filmed riding on a mule- drawn wagon. Later scenes include footage of a Kelly axe salesman demonstrating the quality of his goods by shaving a man with an axe in front of an audience of loggers. The loggers try out the axe by chopping wood, followed by footage of the salesman enthusiastically chopping a large log. The film closes with scenes of a fawn running about the logging camp.

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