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I'm a Lumberjack: 1941

I'm a Lumberjack: 1941

October 1941. "Lumberjack ready to sink the hook into a log. Long Bell Lumber Company, Cowlitz County, Washington." Acetate negative by Russell Lee. View full size.


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Most likely a mill worker ...

Not a "lumberjack". Those are the biggest set of log tongs I have ever seen.

[This lumberjack, working at a yarding area where the trees are felled, is miles from the mill. The logs are transported by rail to a rafting ground on the Columbia River, and then floated to the sawmill. - Dave]

Still not a "lumberjack". A yarder does not cut or fell trees. But, seeing this photo, I agree, he's not a mill worker. Still a very dangerous area to be working.

[The man in our photo did fell trees, and the photographer's captions are correct. - Dave]

I'm no longer a lumberjack.

The term "jack" was dropped when logging moved to the Pacific coast and especially the Pacific NW coast.

No more cuffed pants. They are now completely cut off to eliminate the hem from catching in the underbrush.

Caulked/cork boots have long given way to tennis shoes. Most trees are harvested and processed by machine these days.

Everybody Rolled Them Up in those days.

We did not have the luxury of going into a store and choosing a pair of pants in my specific leg length. You bought them and rolled 'em up. The rolled up cuffs did make a nice ash tray. Higher end pants had their leg length set by the store tailor.

Matter of parallax?

Is that a matter of perspective? Or is that one hell of a log?

14 minutes ...

To cut it down. Took 400 years to grow to that size.

Safety Last

I believe "forestry" has the highest on-the-job fatality rates, and this pic handily illustrates why:
Head protection: nope
Slip-and-fall: Check
Getting KO'd by moving machinery: Check
Tho this gent would assuredly be passed on by now regardless, one can only wonder how soon it was after this was taken that he went to that big 'log roll' in the sky.

And I'm okay

Dave's title inspire this response:

Roll 'em up

Back then everybody rolled up their pantleg cuffs. This man is tall enough to have no need to do so; I guess it was just the fashion. At the end of every day those cuffs would be full of debris - dirt, chips, whatever.


Now I've got the early Monty Python song stuck in my head. Keep up with the awesome HD pics of old!!

Caulk, Not Cork Boots

If you look carefully you can see the nails on the soles of his "caulk" boots. As late as the 1950s there were diners and taverns with signs over the door that said "No Caulk Boots."

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