Items of Interest

About forty-five billion feet of lumber of all kinds is the annual production in the united States; of this, nearly twenty-five billion feet, board measure, are further manufactured, the other portion remaining for rough construction lumber and for similar purposes. This is exclusive of material which reaches its final use in the form of fuel, railroad ties, posts, poles, pulpwood, cooperage, wood distillates, and the barks and extracts demanded by the tanning industry. Nearly or quite one hundred different woods are used in this country under their own names, while an unknown number find their way to shops and factories without being identified or separately listed, except under general names. Fifty-five principal industries use wood as raw material. More than one half of the total consumption consists of planing mill products. The next industry, in point of quantity of wood used, is the manufacture of boxes and crates. For this, nearly four times as much wood is used as is demanded by the builders of steam and electric cars, which industry comes next, and five times the amount that goes into furniture.

Notable progress in the chemical treatment of timber to prevent decay was made in 1913. Ninety-three wood-preserving plants consumed over one hundred and eight million gallons of creosote oil, twenty-six million pounds of dry zinc chloride, and nearly four million gallons of other liquid preservatives. With these the plants treated over one hundred and fifty-three million cubic feet of timber, or about twenty-three per cent more than in 1912. Impregnation of wood with oils and chemicals to increase its resistance to decay and insect attack, is an industry which has become important in the United States only in recent years. In Great Britain, and in fact most of the European countries, practically every wooden cross-tie and telephone or telegraph pole receives preservative treatment. In the United States less than thirty per cent of the one hundred and thirty-five million cross-ties annually consumed are treated, and the proper treatment of an annual consumption of four million poles may be said to have scarcely commenced.

July 18, 1914

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