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The Lumberjack Song: 1918

The Lumberjack Song: 1918

April 17, 1918. Army Signal Corps music-makers in a logging camp bunkhouse at Hoquiam, Washington. View full size. 5x7 glass negative, George Grantham Bain Collection. Starting in 1917 the Army sent 10,000 soldiers to Oregon and Washington logging camps to cut timber as part of an effort to harvest 10 million board-feet of spruce a month for aircraft construction.


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The stringed instrument

is a mandolinetto, tuned and played like a mandolin but with a figure-8 guitar/ukulele shape.

Tenor ukulele

A tenor uke can have 8 strings, you hold down 2 strings at a time. it's basically 4 stringed, except that each 2 strings are tuned the same and are held together. (it makes the uke have a louder sound)

That is logging camp housing

The boots under the bunk are genuine calk boots (otherwise referred to as "cork boots". A common accessory of a feller (I'll always say faller).

The pants and suspenders hanging above the stove would have been "tin pants". Heavy canvas that was somewhat waterproofed.

On cleanliness... this actually looks pretty clean, I've seen photos of much worse.

this is a ukulele

yes, this a 8 strings uke, like some guitars have twelve

Yes, this is a ukulele, some

Yes, this is a ukulele, some have "double" strings, like a twelve string guitar

Army Lumberjacks

This was indeed a logging camp. In 1917 the Army Signal Corps established a "spruce-speeding bureau" that sent 10,000 men to the lumber camps of Oregon and Washington, cutting timber in an effort to harvest 10 million board-feet of spruce a month for aircraft construction.

Logging camp

If this was an actual military barracks these guys would be doing pushups till sunrise for being such slobs! It looks more like a frathouse dorm.

Logging Soldiers

I could believe the "logging camp" caption. During WW1 the Army used soldiers to log spruce forests along the Oregon coast for logs and poles. Maybe these guys were doing the same in Hoquiam, Wa. Maybe? Maybe not.

I wanted to be a lumberjack

8 strings

It is a tenor ukulele, that's why it has 8 strings

That's not a ukulele- it has

That's not a ukulele- it has 8 strings.

I'm a Lumberjack

I'm a Lumberjack, I'm OK. I sleep all night and I work all day ...

Guy on bunk showing his stripes

Look at the full view and the Sgt's stripes of the guy reading on the bunk are clearly visible, as is his cover sitting on a shelf just behind him.

Not A Logging Camp

This is not a logging camp, these guys are soldiers in a log barracks in an Army camp. They're wearing army uniforms or parts thereof and are are too neatly groomed to be any lumberjacks I've ever known. The clincher is the US Army Signal Corps emblem in the LH corner, this was an official picture.

[It was indeed a logging camp. - Dave]

Something missing?

I see a ukulele. And I see an accordion. But ... no banjo??

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