Far more significant were the fewer, larger mills cutting logs for export. Equipped with gang saws and ancillary machinery, they produced better lumber faster. After 1840 new technologies increased their size and efficiency. Circular saws were used for edging and trimming. The continuous-cutting band saw largely replaced the reciprocating gang after 1890. Rollers and log chains moved material through the mill quickly. Steam power, increasingly common after mid-century, meant faster, more continuous cutting and locational freedom. Electric lighting reduced the fire hazard of night work. In 1830 a large mill might have produced 7500 m/day; by 1850, 18 000 m was unexceptional; in 1900 the figure might be 180 000 m. Massive investment lay behind these increases, and with it came concentration in fewer locations and the pre-eminence of a relatively small number of firms.
Author GRAEME WYNN
Links to Other Sites
The official website for the Town of Botwood, a historic community in Exploits Valley. This site offers a guide to the many local tourist attractions and a review of major events in its long history, including the fate of the local Beothuk community, the early European settlements, the flying boat era, the wartime role of the Botwood airbase, and much more.
Dust levels high at mill weeks before blast: WorkSafe BC
A CTV news story about possible causes of a devastating explosion at a sawmill in Burns Lake, BC.