Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Wood Hicks and Bark Peelers: A Visual History of Pennsylvania S Railroad Lumbering Communities

In Wood Hicks and Bark Peelers, Ronald E. Ostman and Harry Littell draw on the stunning documentary photography of William T. Clarke to tell the story of Pennsylvania's lumber heyday, a time when loggers serving the needs of a rapidly growing and globalizing country forever altered the dense forests of the state's northern tier.
Discovered in a shed in upstate New York and a barn in Pennsylvania after decades of obscurity, Clarke's photographs offer an unprecedented view of the logging, lumbering, and wood industries during the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. They show the great forests in the process of coming down, and the trains that hauled away the felled trees and trimmed logs. And they show the workers cruisers, jobbers, skidders, teamsters, carpenters, swampers, wood hicks, and bark peelers their camps and workplaces, their families, their communities. The work was demanding and dangerous; the work sites and housing were unsanitary and unsavory. The changes the newly industrialized logging business wrought were immensely important to the nation's growth at the same time that they were fantastically and tragically transformative to the landscape.
An extraordinary look at a little-known photographer's work and the people and industry he documented, this book reveals, in sharp detail, the history of the third phase of lumber in America.

About the Author

Ronald E. Ostman and Harry Littell have collaborated on a number of books, most recently (with Mary Jordan) Dear Friend Amelia: The Civil War Letters of Private John Tidd and Great Possibilities: 150 Photographs by Verne Morton. Ostman is Graduate Professor of Communication Emeritus, Cornell University. Littell is Associate Professor and Chair of Photography, Tompkins Cortland Community College, Dryden, New York.

Table of Contents:
Prologue: Discovery and Procedures
Introduction: The Salvation of William T. Clarke
Linda A. Ries
1The Black Forest
2The Machine in the Garden
3Wood Hicks, Bark Peelers, and Other Woods Workers
4Camp Life
5Community Life
6The Pennsylvania Desert
7A Mighty Transformation
Appendix: Notes on the Photographs

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