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Northrop, E. B.; Chittenden, H. A., Jr. (ed.) / The Wisconsin lumberman, devoted to the lumbering interests of the northwest
(July, 1874)

The lumber business in New York,   pp. 357-358 PDF (685.5 KB)


Page 357


37The Wwconsis Lumberman.
THE LUMBER BUSINESS IN NEW YORK.
New York city is the greatest re-
tail lumber market of the country
and probably presents a greater
diversity of trade and interests than
any other market in the world. The
white pine from the north, the ye 1-
low pine from the south, walnut from
the west, the usual variety of hard-
woods from different localities, and
foreign woods from all portions of
the globe, make the lumber business
of New York as cosmopolitan as is
the heterogeneous population of the
great city. The trade, which sus-
tains over one hundred yards and
handles hundreds of millions annual-
ly, is purely local in its character.
The builders and contractors of the
city use by far the greater portion
of the lumber sold, while the bal-
lance is consumed by the various
manufacturing establishments of
cabinet and wood-work, and by the
ship-builders. Yellow pine is very
largely dealt in; we should judge to
even a greater amount than white
pine. Woods which are almost un -
known at the west as material for
lumber may in New York be con-
sidered  standard   commodities.
Large quantities of spruce and hem-
lock are handled, and even cypress is
coming into considerable favor.
Should the white pine forests of the
country be suddenly swept away,
New York would miss them but
little; so entirely are other woods
made to take the place of the favorite
of the west.  Comparatively little
common white pine lumber finds its
way to New York, that which is used
coming mostly from Albany and first
through the dealers in that city. In
fact, dealers in New York buy more
lumber from the wholesale dealers at
Albany than they do direct from the
manufacturers.  Western  lumber-
men, as a rule, have long believed
that the upper grades of their lum-
ber would some day find its most pro-
fitable market at New York and the
east. We believe that before trans-
portation becomes low enough to
enable very profitable shipments
east, the great and growing west
will absorb, at larger profits to man-
ufacturers, every clear-staff board
that comes from the pineries of the
northwest.  The west uses, pro-
portionately, much more lumber than
the east uses, and the ratio is daily
increasing in favor of the west. The
great eastern establishments which
manufacture sash, doors, mouldings,
etc., complain that the western fac-
tories of similar kind have so com-
peted in the market as to render
their business of little or no profit.
Probably the most prosperous lum-
bermen at the east are those engaged
in handling exclusively foreign and
hard-woods and veneers. Inactivity in
the trade is complained of on all sides,
yet the lumber business is more
prosperous and active than the ma-
jority of businesses in the east. If
dealers are making slow sales they
are at least making some profit on
the time, labor and money invested,
which is more than can be said of
many branches of trade. Inspection
of lumber seems to be governed
more by individual caprice than any
settled and definite rules of inspec-
tion. As before hinted, a lumber-
man's exchange or board of trade in
357


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