Here's an interior shot of the Oregon Lumber Company sawmill at Chenowith which turned logs into rough sawed slabs ready for a flume ride down to the Columbia. At Matt's suggestion I've included the original scan along with one which I've adjusted a bit in Photoshop. A large percentage of our images are very faded from age or light exposure. Fortunately we can easily restore them to something approaching their original dynamic range. I try to minimize photo processing to avoid "adding" to the original material, but bringing a faded image back into a normal contrast range makes it far easier to look at and understand.
Look at the size of that cut log on the right!
I wonder what the machine on the left is for?
Looking at these photos, I keep thinking of the back breaking work and if you hurt your back, you were simply out of work.
l.e. on 26th September 2013 @ 7:24am
Gentlemen who derived their livelihood from the timber industry did not find it necessary to expend their financial assets on gym memberships.
Buzz on 26th September 2013 @ 7:31am
I think that's the winch that would bring the logs up into the mill from the pond that would behind the camera. Then rolled from left to right to the bed with the kickers on right. That should be the main saw on right. It's driven by the belt from upstairs near center screen. I think it may be a double head rig (term?) - there appears to be a second blade under the first, behind the worker's back. Interesting the way the wall on right has been partially "sided'.
spinsur on 26th September 2013 @ 7:51am
The saw we are seeing is no where near large enough to have ripped the full depth of the log shown. There must be a lot bigger saw somewhere out of the picture. Not sure what the saw we are seeing does.
Wonder what the noise level was, must have been tremendous.
longshot on 26th September 2013 @ 4:22pm
One of the reasons I stayed away from sawmills was I didn't like listening to screaming saws. But would guess to cut that size slab there had to be a band saw working there somewhere.
Buzz on 26th September 2013 @ 6:18pm
Zoom your browser up to 400%, and look below the obvious blade, against the back of the jacket; is that a second blade? Because that's what I can't figure out, how that saw made that cut.
spinsur on 26th September 2013 @ 6:58pm
In fact, looking at it again, I think I can see a horizontal kerf line in the cant at the bottom of the upper blade level.
spinsur on 26th September 2013 @ 7:03pm
I think you are right, there is a second much larger blade underneath. Interesting way to adapt your mill to handle larger timber.
longshot on 26th September 2013 @ 7:21pm
I can't see it. But the only reason I think I am a better golfer now than when I was young is because now I can drive my golf ball clear out of my sight.
Buzz on 26th September 2013 @ 7:44pm
Good catch, spinsur. Checking the high-res there is definitely a second set of teeth from a larger blade offset slightly from the smaller more visible blade.
Arthur on 26th September 2013 @ 8:08pm
I do see what is likely the lower blade. What we don't see is the cutoff that should be visible. This is obviously a staged photo with everyone looking at the camera.
Brian on 27th September 2013 @ 5:54pm
I'm sure work was stopped so the photographer could take a long exposure. Interior shots were very difficult with the equipment of the era, and this is even more challenging because of all the light leaking in from outside. I've noticed these indoor photos have a funny effect-- many of the people have just white spaces in their eyes. While they hold their bodies still, it's much harder not to glance around, so the eyes become a whitish blur.
Arthur on 28th September 2013 @ 9:40am
How many remember the wonderful smell of the "mill', the burner, the mill pond, the head rig, the planer mill and the sound of the steam engine about to leave the mill. Sorry so many will miss that lasting experience.
Bill P. on 28th September 2013 @ 11:07pm