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History of the Forest Products Laboratory

Interview #913: Youngs, Robert L. (June, 2009)

View all of First Interview Session (February 13, 2008)

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00:18:39 - 00:22:46 Travel, Navy

travel, Navy; Norfolk, VA; San Francisco, CA; Mechanicsburg, PA; Utah, wood containers

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00:18:39

BW

Ok. Now did your job require any traveling?

BY

Some, yeah. One of the interesting projects I had in my early years at the Lab was again supported by the military. The Navy had established some centers of dry storage, in order to keep their materials dry and in good condition. And they had set these up at naval supply centers in Norfolk, Virginia, in San Francisco, in Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania, and in - I've forgotten the name of the other one - in Utah. And they were also using wood containers. The Navy had a very large program of storing material to preserve it and to keep it ready for shipment anywhere in the world using wood containers. These were ordinary wood boxes, well made, but ordinary wood boxes. And they couldn't figure out why it was that when they put these in their dry storage the boxes kept splitting. And so I spent several months working with a gentleman named Ed Rasmussen, traveling to these naval supply centers to examine the storage and to see what the problem was. And it turned out to be a fairly simple problem of the fact that they were using green wood and as it dried it shrank and split. And we helped them set up a program of making sure they had dry wood and it was, the dry wood was well prepared to use in boxes, and I think that solved their storage problem. And that was the year before I got into packaging and then subsequently went to New Haven. And I did, we did a lot of traveling. Traveling then was by rail. Air travel was just beginning---this was in '51-'52. We traveled by - you used to be able to travel by train from Madison then. And we went to San Francisco and to Utah and to Norfolk, Virginia and to Pennsylvania to these naval supply centers by train. And we'd usually arrange for a Forest Service automobile when we got there from a nearby Forest Service experiment station and used that to do the little driving that we needed to do, to go to the naval supply center and do our work there. That was the major traveling. Then there were little calls from manufacturers around who we're having problems with the drying and wood deformation, and so occasionally we would do what we could. And so, this was the beginning of my traveling for the Lab.

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