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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)

Standard lumber,   pp. 398-399 PDF (765.9 KB)

Page 398

3The Wisconum Lwnberman.
Prm Ute Bodat LuAbe 2Tda
There is no complaint more gene-
ral-we might with propriety, per-
haps, well say   universal-among
manufacturers of lumber than in
reference to inspection or survey.
Their merchandise is rated, they say,
too low and the returns to them are,
consequently, not what they might
fairly expect and claim. We are not
prepared to say that there is not in
many cases too much ground for this
complaint. In this locality, it is
claimed by those who ought to know,
that, under the operation of the Mas-
sachusetts law and its administration
in this district, the inspection bears
more heavily on the interest of the
manufacturers than is true of the in-
spection in any other district or
point of manufacture or sale through-
out the country. Wherever there
are interests so conflicting, as exist
in this case, there will of necessity
occur difference of opinion and often
dissatisfaction for which there is
really no occasion. In this connec-
tion, it may be proper to say that the
disappointment of the manufacturer
may arise from his own methods of
manufacture, resulting both in lower
ratings and a less salable quality than
should have been secured from tim-
ber, of such size and quality before it
was sawed. By want of proper ad-
justment, or of sufficient skill and
attention on the part of the operator,
there will be frequently a variation
of an eighth of an inch in thickness
from that called for by the schedule,
so that either it will not plane up to
the standard thickness called for, or
will necessitate waste or extra labor
in working it down. It not unfre-
quently even occurs that the same
pieee of board will vary in thickness,
-by nearly or quite an eighth of an
inchbetween the two ends. There
are other respects, also, in which a
careless method of manufacture may
very much depreciate the value of
lumber. To use the expression of a
prominent operator, "there is a sci-
ence in the manufacture of lumber"
as truly as in that of many articles-
less bulky and of much finer texture.
This science, as he assured us, was
thoroughly understood by the lum-
bermen of one locality, partially so-
by that of another, and quite ignored
by that of a third. Another large
commission merchant stated to us
that, within a few years, the style of
manufacture of a whole region had
been so modified and improved that,
while previously the lumber had
stood very low in the estimation of
purchasers and could hardly be sold
at all, it now stood well, and that.
this marked, and to the manufac-
turers very profitable improvement,
had been secured by the directing
their attention particularly to "style,"
he, with the operator previously
quoted, averring that the term
"S style" is applicable to this as to
many other kinds of manufacture to-
which the term might seem more ap-
Another matter, somewhat kindred
to that just referred to, is the special
want of a particular market. For ex-
ample the demands of the New York
and of the Boston market are not the
same, and what would be adapted to-
one and would sell readily, in an or-
dinary season in one, would in a cor-
responding season, find no demand
in the other.  The manufacturer
should, of course, be acquainted with
the special demand of each, and pre-
pared to adapt the quality and style
of his production to the wants of the
locality in which he seeks a market.
Our conclusion from the above is
that, while it is for the interest of
manufacturers of lumber to seek by
concerted action for the necessary
modification of the inspection laws of
the various states as soon as this may
be secured, and such checks on the
administrations of the laws as may
be needed, they should individually
bring the quality of their production
to the highest standard of which the,
material on which they work is capa-

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