St. Patrick’s Day is a day for the wearing of the green. You know who wore green? The boys of the Civilian Conservation Corps, that’s who. For most of its existence, the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) did not have its own distinct dress uniform. The uniforms initially given to the CCC Boys consisted of a mix of old and new Army issue clothing. In the first years of the CCC, surplus World War I shirts and trousers were issued. That changed in 1939 when the CCC received a spruce green wool dress uniform designed specifically for them. It is unknown who owned this particular coat but it represents the dress coat worn by the CCC from 1939 until it was disbanded in 1942. (LM2019.16.1)
Is there ice cream in there? I want some ice cream….Alas there is no ice cream in my freezer only artifacts. This freezer can be a useful tool to help with the preservation of some of the artifacts that come to the museum. Mold and insects can eat away and destroy some artifacts if they are allowed to infest a collection. Paper and textile items are at particular risk. Such items can be frozen to help treat against such dangers. Freezing an item will kill insects and active mold. (It will not kill inactive mold but as long as the item is not exposed to high humidity the mold should remain inactive and not spread) Currently I am in the process of freezing some paper material from the Emporium Lumber Company. These items had been stored in an area that wasn’t climate controlled and that could have been exposed to insects. Prior to being placed into the freezer they are wrapped in freezer paper to keep out moisture. These items then frozen as a precaution before they are moved into the main storage area.
To Help celebrate Smokey Bear’s 75th birthday this post highlights a new donation for two posters featuring everyone’s favorite Forest Fire preventing bear. These two posters, donated by the Brownawell Family, are 84 inches tall, making them by far the largest in our collection. These posters are so large they come in two pieces, known as 2-sheet posters.
The newest chainsaw to the Lumber Museum’s collection is this Mall Model 1 MG Chainsaw. The Model 1MG was produced by the Mall Tool Company of Chicago from 1953 to 1957. The one cylinder engine produced 5 brake horse power and the saw weighs in at 33 pounds.
This saw was purchased new by John Gerhart sometime in the 1950s. The saw then passed to a son-in-law, Donald Barth. Both of these men used the saw for personal use around their properties. The saw was then given to Donald’s son, David. David used this saw in the late 1970s to start his business, “Dave Barth Tree Service” located in Reading, PA. Dave used the saw for only the first year or so until he was able to replace it with a lighter, more modern saw. At the time of the donation, his tree service was still in operation.
Dave Barth Tree Service and this chainsaw are examples of how Pennsylvania’s lumber industry takes many forms and operates not only in the forests but all over the state.
Before electric power tools there were human powered tools. This late 19th century wood working tool was foot operated using pedals. They would have been an improvement over hand tools and used by carpenters working in and around Pennsylvania’s Lumber towns.
This bicycle like Wood Former/ Shaper was made by the W.F. & John Barnes Company and was used for molding edges and scroll work. This particular machine was given to William Chastain while he was a carpenter’s apprentice to his Uncle, Theodore Grabe, in Coudersport in the 1890’s. Mr. Chastain was born in Roulette, PA in 1875. In addition to working as a carpenter’s apprentice, he worked in local logging camps, often as a teamster, using his father’s horses. He moved with his family to Rochester, NY in 1909, where he spent the next 50 years working as a carpenter.
Masten is one of Pennsylvania’s lumber ghost towns. The town was founded in 1906 by the lumberman, Charles Sones. Sones build his first mill in Masten in 1906. In 1917 Sones sold the mills to the Central Pennsylvania Lumber Company (CPL) who operated them until 1930. After CPL shutdown the mills, the town of Masten lost it’s population, the last family reportedly moving away in 1941.
The edger saw in the museum’s sawmill is from one of the Masten mills.
These photos and photo postcards were donated by Ann Haus Krout, whose Grandfather, William, lived in Masten and worked in the mills.
Our main exhibit doesn’t change very often but we do try to limit how long some of our more sensitive artifacts, such as paper or fabric objects, are on display. This week we rotated some of the artifacts in our exhibit. One item was the BLOT Tobacco Package (OM77.152) which was rotated with the FRISHMUTH’S Tobacco Package (LM2011.3.55).
Stop on by and see if you can spot the other artifacts that where rotated.
Even new things can end up in our collection. The PA chapter of the Sustainable Forestry Initiative (SFI) Implementation Committee recently donated this new Chainsaw protection gear to help the museum illustrate how present day loggers and foresters help protect themselves and practice chainsaw safety. (LM2019.13)
“Sweetheart” or “Mother” pillow covers were a popular souvenir for young men to send home to their loved ones from around the time of WWI through WWII. Pillow covers, such as this one, were marketed to soldiers, sailors and Civilian Conservation Corps enrollees. They often contained sentimental messages or with idealized images of camp life, either military or CCC. This cover is stamped with the words to the song “Mother,” copyrighted in 1915 with lyrics by Howard Johnson and music by Theodore Morse, a song which was quite well known. The cover also stamped with, “Happy Days in the C.C.C.”, which may also be a reference to the popular Depression era song “Happy Days Are Here Again”. “Happy Days” was also the name of a privately owned, national CCC newspaper.
Search our site
The Pennsylvania Lumber Museum is supported by the Pennsylvania Lumber Museum Associates.
The Pennsylvania Lumber Museum is administered by the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission. Josh Shapiro, Governor. Haley Haldeman, Chair. Andrea Lowery, Executive Director.
Curator’s Corner A recent addition to the museum’s collection is the group of objects related to Fred Newell. Fred was a farmer and a carpenter who lived on his family farm in Newelltown, PA in Tioga County. During the winter months he would find work in lumber camps. It was not uncommon for farmers to supplement their income by working in the lumber camps during the winter when there was not as much work to be done on the farm. In 1900 at the age of 34 he was killed when he was struck on the head by a falling tree limb, while working at a lumber camp near Corbett, PA.
Donald Newell, Fred’s grandson, donated a collection of photographs to the museum on behalf of the Newell Family (in addition to a wood beam boring machine). The photographs are of Fred, the Newell Family at the farm as well as several photos of lumber camps. These photos were passed down through the Newell family. Unfortunately not much is known about them other than one photo that identifies the camp location as Corbett, PA. These photos are however a very exciting addition to the collection. Not only is there a connection though a specific individual but they also provide a good visual of camps at the time. In addition a couple of photos show women and children who were known to occasionally be at the lumber camps but are underrepresented in the museum collection. One of the photos is particularly interesting as it shows an African-American gentleman front and center in a group shop. As far as we can tell this is the only image in the museum’s collection that shows an African-American at a lumber camp of this time period.