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History of the Forest Products Laboratory

Interview #933: Springer, Edward L. (June, 2009)

View all of First Interview Session (June 17, 2008)

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01:20:24 - 01:23:20 Forest Service

Forest Service, impressions, perceptions, FPL, employee treatment, leaving mark; wood hydrolysis

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01:20:24

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AP

Well maybe to change pace a little bit, how do you feel about having worked for the Forest Service in general and FPL specifically?

ES

Very happy to have worked for them. When I worked for Kimberly-Clark, Kimberly-Clark was a corporation of course, you were expected to be a company man. I didn't quite fit in there to be a company man. They were trying to organize the unions among the clerical staff there at the laboratory and we had a meeting of professionals sort of thing and the head of the laboratory came and said you know try to discourage this. Well I'm from a background such that I didn't want to discourage that [laughs]. So, I didn't say anything I just went along my merry way and I didn't talk to anybody about it at all, so be it. Now they had treated me well, they gave me a decent salary, they were encouraging, they were liberal and all this but you know here you didn't have to worry about stuff like that. You weren't going to go much of any place anyhow so you know you didn't have to be much of a company man. But I must say the Laboratory is a very good place to work in general. You know the occasional bad boss like I certainly would never like to work for Jack Rowe [laughs] and there was some possibility of it at one time but in general they have all been reasonable people and good to work for. And having to work for the Forest Service, having to work for an organization that's promoting, you know, green and has been for years, it's always been multiuse, it's always been be careful what you do with the forests. And our laboratory is dedicated to increasing the efficiency of wood use.

01:22:28

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AP

Do you feel that your work has left a mark on FPL, the Forest Service in general?

ES

Oh I don't know about the Forest Service, FPL. You know the industry a little bit because we worked on chip storage and essentially we were helping to solve that problem, yes. We were working on non-chlorine bleaching and we made contributions to that which I think had influenced other people and what went along with that. This wood hydrolysis business who knows what's going to happen there you know, we put out some landmark papers in the wood hydrolysis business so we don't know where that's going, hopefully to fruition, maybe not.

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