Nanaimo Historical Society Fonds
Series 2. Sound Recordings : Tape 24
Transcribed by Lois Park, May 2008
Address by Mr. Don Schon before Nanaimo Historical Society, Tuesday, April 15, 1969.
The Subject - Hand Logging on the British Columbia Coast.
Mr. Schon was introduced to the gathering by the President, Mr. J. G. Parker and a vote of thanks was extended on behalf of all present by Doctor R. E. Forester for the excellent address.
[Transcriber's Note: There are noises at times and the voice moves away as it appears that Mr. Schon is drawing pictures or showing pictures]
You may want to speak, because it adds a little interest, and this isn't part of the pub-crawl. Does anybody recognize what it is?
[Inaudible conversation from the audience]
It is a forest [?], yes, yeah right, you get a lifesaver.
[Inaudible comments/chuckles from audience]
It was quite a familiar thing in its day but today it is very hard to find any of them and to find the hand forged hooks, they are very hard to find. I set out about ten years ago [inaudible comment from audience] yeah, stove oil, coal oil, diesel. They hung on the tree beside the tree faller or bucker and was used to keep the saw running. It was easily made up, a black smith made up the [?] and there was always lots of beer bottles around. So no problem, keeping you in business. But it is hard to find these things now. I set out to try to collect a few of these things a few years ago and I got to thinking about oil bottle hooks and I travel around to our logging camps quite a bit and tried to find some and bless me, it took me about two years to actually find some.
And I finally did find a box of them out behind a old [filing?] shed and I have some now, I have spring boards and all the other hand falling equipment is very hard to come by, and surprising in the logging camp, I guess it is twenty years ago now, but twenty years ago this was all standard equipment. It was everywhere, saws, every set of fallers had four - six saws, they had two saws for the fallers in the woods, two saws for the bucker in the woods, and one saw each in the filing shed. So they had, then they had the axes, wedges, all this equipment, and yet now you try and find these things, all the thousands of saws there must have been along the B.C. coast now it is very hard find any, very hard to find any at all.
Well, we are going to talk about hand logging tonight and if you don't mind, I would like to read it because I think it would probably be more interesting than me trying to babble on and maybe get through it quicker too, you never can tell.
The Hand Logger - it was one of the most interesting phenomena in the B.C.'s colorful logging history.
First, let's understand what is meant by hand logging. Hand logging was a practice of felling and wrestling huge west coast timber into the coastal waters by no other than human muscular power. The use of power machinery was forbidden.
Now I will refer back to the Act and it is clearly stated in the Forest Act, Section 22 "the holder of a license granted under this section shall not use any machinery propelled other than or operated otherwise than by muscular power to carry out lumbering operations under this license". So there it was, brute strength.
The unique coastline of B.C. permitted hand logging as few places in the world could and led to its natural evolution. Firstly, our coastline is sheltered. I want you to look at these maps that I have got together here, they are not the best but when you, they show the water in blue and the silvery part is land and I want you as I speak just look at this and you will see why hand logging was a, truly, a unique B.C. commodity.
Firstly, our coastline is sheltered, islands, bays and long inlets provide quiet waters where logs can be easily watered and collected for booming with little or no artificial shelter required.
The second feature of our coastline favoring hand logging is its steepness. The hand logger's silent partner was gravity and without steep slopes rising directly from the beach, it would have been impossible to move the logs to water by hand. Look at the inlets, thousands of miles of inlets all sheltered down through here, Butte Inlet, Knight Inlet, [?], Jervis Inlet, Howe Sound, [Nee Arm?] all around the Gulf of Georgia is pretty well sheltered. All through these islands, all through the Inside Passage up here, right up to the Alaskan Panhandle, all sheltered waters, essentially every bay a booming ground.
Neither of these conditions are found across the border in the US except in Puget Sound and along the Columbia River. For this reason, hand logging was essentially a Canadian enterprise. And this is something that we should remember as I describe hand logging, because it was essentially a Canadian enterprise. The coastline of the United States is not sheltered, it is wide-open, beautiful sandy beaches nowadays but in those days nobody could use them who had time to swim or surf. So it was, they needed, these pioneer people needed the shelter.
The practice of hand logging had its origins in the 1860's when the first saw mills were established around the Gulf of Georgia. The first mills, of course, Vancouver, Chemainus, down in this lower part of the Gulf of Georgia. There is no doubt that the first hand logging was conducted in Burrard Inlet to supply the B.C. mills timber and trading based in sawmill and then spread up the coast wherever suitable shores could be found.
From simple beginnings, the practice resembled the behaviour of a gold rush in slow motion and no doubt a good many Cariboo and Klondike miners found their way into the ranks of the hand loggers when the mines played out.
Hand loggers were first legally recognized by the issuance of hand logger's licenses in 1886, which were legislated two years later in 1888 under the Lands Act. This was merely the legalizing of a well-established practice, no doubt an act to gain revenue by the government of the day. Typical of governments, whenever some enterprise gets going, they will tax it.
The itinerant loggers paid little attention to ownership when they selected their claim as many a timber license or crown grant owner will testify. Although perhaps it would have been hand logged prior to the date the timber was alienated from the crown to the license holder. The general procedure for selecting a claim was pretty simple, the hand logger just rowed his boat along the coast until he found a good shoal, this consisted mainly of good timber of the right species and on a steep shoreline. The slope was important, as I have mentioned, as gravity was his main assist, with the claim selected, he would find a nearby cove in which to boom his logs. Here he would pitch his tent or build a cedar shake shack which would serve as home while he logged nearby. This legalized his claim to the area and woe be [tided?] to anyone who infringed.
The logging method was at the same time simple and complex. Simple in what was done, but complex in how it was performed. Hand loggers usually worked as partners with one or both holding licenses. They would select each tree with much care and were reluctant to fall a tree unless they were pretty certain that it's contents were free of defects and saleable on that very selective and demanding pioneer market. No one in their right mind would want to fall a tree by hand unless he could sell it and the market was very selective. In those days, especially in the very early days, you couldn't sell anything unless it had, unless appeared to be at least fully clear on the outside.
Typically, the shore-grown trees have most of their limbs and knots on the waterside, which has the greatest sun exposure. We look at the typical shoreline, the water, the hillside going up, 45 degrees was a very important number. Over 45 degrees, things will run once you start them provided there isn't some major resistance in its way. Less than 45 degrees you have to always be pushing it. The trees, with the crowns here, have the longest part of the crown on this side in every case, because on the up hillside there was another tree. So this side of the crown was essentially shaded. Here again this would be clear, have more clear on the up hillside. This was quite a characteristic of trees on the steep side hill. The skillful hand logger would often use this to his advantage in raising the grade and value of this type of tree. A common practice was, was for these, a common practice for these one sided trees which would normally float exposing half the clear side and half the knotty side was to suspend a weight under the log holding the knotty side under water and so out of the scaler's sight. [Chuckles from the audience]
Look at the water here and the log like this, normally there would be knots sticking out here, the scaler would see those, so the hand logger who had lots of time, he had more time than we have today, he would suspend a weight here to keep these knots under water. After the log had been in water a month of so and it soaked up water in this position, the weight could be removed and the log would not roll over. The log would then appear to be perfect, as the knots would all be under water.
The late [Nes Beswick?] told me a story of a hand logger near Ocean Falls who used an old cook stove for the weight. When he stowed his logs into boom the weighted log was included and forgotten until it hit the jack ladder at Ocean Falls. Then his secret was out, he had forgotten to cut the weight off before he shipped the boom, needless to say his next boom was more closely scrutinized by the scaler and log buyer. It is quite an interesting trick [chuckles all around].
The hand logger hand to exercise considerable judgment in falling his trees. Before falling, the selected tree was sized up for lean and the best lay or direction was well planned. The trees on shore were felled directly onto the beach. These ones down here were felled straight on to the beach. Those further up the hill, which would run, which would slide or run directly onto the beach were likewise be felled directly down the hill. Anything that they could get, that they could fall and it would take off down the hill and hit the beach, they tried to do that. It led to a lot of breakage needless to say but saved a lot of work if you could get that tree to run down the hill. That's what ever they could figure that the tree would make it to the beach they would fall it in that direction. These were called stumpers and of course were sought out first, as they required comparatively little effort to water the logs.
The trees further up the hill, hand loggers were known to follow the timber on good even slopes for over a quarter of a mile from the shore and usually fell across the slope to facilitated bucking. The ones way back would, they would fall across the slope, now if you have every handled a cross cut saw, I imagine most of you have, you know that if the tree is laying down the hill it is almost impossible to buck it across because if you are bucking by yourself. Most of the bucking was done by one man, because the other end of the saw is going to whip the bend down the hill and it is just about impossible to make anything cut.
Prior to felling, a bed of smaller trees were felled across its path to keep the tree off the ground and to serve as skids. Without a bed, large trees would sink into the forest soil when felled making it difficult for the logs to be bucked. The bed also made it easier to buck the tree into logs and remove the bark from one side of the log. The tree was then limbed and debarked on the side next to the skids. Where they felled a tree, they had these trees smaller trees would be felled down the hill more or less and the larger trees would come down on top crushing it here, the end of the log would be here. They would take the bark off whatever side, once the log bucked, they would take the bark off the log on the side that they figured would run in other words slide and looking at the log this way, I’m not a very good artist, say this was the side they were going to roll and slide down the hill, they would strip all the bark off here and probably they would do what they called snipe at the end of the log. They would take the corner of the log off all the way around. The log had a sort of bevel, almost half way to sharpen, like sharpen a pencil and this would keep the end up a bit too. The bucked log was slid down the skids, whenever the log was stopped by a stump or rock, it was freed by rolling it to the peavies or by lifting the jammed end with a jack.
The hand logger’s jack was one of his most important tools and it was his prime mover. In fact, his licenses forbade use of any power machinery. There were many types of jacks, including the simple screw jack, the ratchet jack and the gear and ratchet jacks. Some were home made by local blacksmiths, some were made in Vancouver and others were imported. The jack was the only real power tool that the hand logger had. A peavey, yes, but most of the logs that he was dealing with were three feet in diameter or larger and it is almost impossible to effect much force onto a log with a peavey. When he started the log running and it happened to run into a stump, go where it shouldn’t oughta, the only way he could get it away from that was to get a purchase here and jack the end over and then watch out, away we go again. Or jam behind a rock or slid crossways on the hill, the only way to get it started again was with a jack.
Two of the most popular were the [broker?] and the gilcrest. I have some pictures here. I will just circulate that, that is a gilcrest jack and here is, this is a page from McLennan, McFeely, Prior catalogue and the bottom jack there is a gilcrest and has a price tag attached to it.
The [broker?] was made in [Solomon?] Germany. I was quite surprised to find this because it is quite a primitive looking jack. There is one in the forest museum at Duncan. They are very rare because the shell of the jack is made out of wood and of course, if they are left lying around, as old things are, the shell would rot away and the moving parts don’t mean too much anymore. A jack like the gilcrest you can use it abuse it all out of reason because it is all steel and although it rusts a bit, it is still, there is no problem, it still won’t deteriorate too much.
But I was quite surprised to find that this one jack, the one with the wooden shell was made in [Solomon?] Germany. It employed the principle of a gear and ratchet and rack and pinion. It was motivated by means of a crank, which went around in such a fashion, which turned two reduction pinions, which in turn lifted a rack. The mechanism was housed in a wooden frame.
The most famous hand loggers jack was the gilcrest which was made in Vancouver BC. Force was applied to ratchet by a pump handle about four feet long, which moved up and down to turn a pinion which lifted the rack. And in both of these jacks the force ends up on a rack that is raised, one of the main advantages incorporated in both of these jacks was a dog which protruded from the lower end of the jack and you can see it in that jack. From the bottom of the jack is the base plate and the rack is in here just sticking up the face, but there is on the bottom of this rack here has got this dog on it and that was a very important thing for lifting logs. This permitted the lift to be applied to within three inches of the ground level; another advantage of the mechanical jacks was that they could be used in any position. Hydraulic jacks as we have now you can only use it in the vertical position, or nearly vertical. With the mechanical jack, of course, you could jack sideways, upside down or any way you wanted.
The lifting capacity of these jacks ranged from about eight to fifteen tons depending on who was applying the force, of course. And these logs, of course, were very heavy, so these jacks were rated as a twelve ton jack, the gilcrest and I imagine the [broker?] could at least lift that.
Initially in 1888, the hand loggers license cost ten dollars per year and was granted to Indians or persons on the provincial voters list. It was granted for the period of one year and was non- transferable. It permitted the licensee to hand log on any vacant Crown Land on the coast. But in 1908, hand logging was restricted to the North Coast that is above Cape Caution, from here north.
Up to that time, the logger could go anywhere they wanted on the coast, where they could find Crown Land where no timber license or any other homesteader or anybody had moved in to take up property and fell timber on their license and all they paid was this ten dollar fee, that is before 1908.
But in 1908, hand logging was restricted to the North Coast. This restriction was lifted under pressure from the labour groups almost immediately but a further restriction limited each hand logger to an area defined on a map by a forest officer. The license was thereafter applicable to the specified area only. Also in 1908, the fee was raised to twenty-five dollars.
This is a copy of the last license that was ever granted and there is the type of map that showed where the hand logger could work. This is [Toba?] Inlet here, and there is the north shore outlined here for the hand logger. This is quite [inaudible discussion goes on].
That was the last license granted; probably that ground had been hand logged two or three times before that. I will circulate this here; it may be of interest.
[Inaudible remark, possibly an audience member stating 1965] Right, right, that’s the last one that was granted.
The hand logger paid full royalty for the timber scale but no stumpage. The timber mark for hand loggers consisted of a number and one of the letters X, Y or Z. This one here, this fellow’s mark was 14Y and that is what he branded his logs with. When we speak of timber marks, that is what it is, when you look at the end of a log you will see, usually there is some kind of a number or letter configuration, this tells where the log or who cut the log and where the log came from. It tells what type of land it came off and also what royalty is due to the Crown on those logs. So those are the marks that were assigned to the hand loggers.
The greatest issuance of hand logging licenses occurred in 1907 when 573 licenses were sold, this coincided with a boom year in the lumber industry, which is chronicled by M. E. Grainger in an article appearing in the Times of London in 1908. He writes “Hand loggers were strung out along every fjord, along every inland shore, putting in logs against time, they could make six to seven dollars a day per man even on slopes that had been hand logged and re-hand logged in days before the boom”. As the years advance, hand logging progressed northward; Grainger comments that by 1900, they had reached Knight Inlet, which is right here.
Reference to the annual reports of the Forest Branch, as the Forest Service was then called, shows that the bulk of hand logger production about 80 to 90% emanated from the Prince Rupert forest district after 1914. Now Prince Rupert Forest District starts right in here, this is called Prince Rupert District, here is Prince Rupert, and that is called Prince Rupert Forest District including the Queen Charlotte Islands and the Vancouver Forest District is from Cape Caution south and out to some where about between Hope and Lytton. This area here essentially is Vancouver Forest District and this is Prince Rupert goes into probably right here.
So that by 1914, 80 to 90% of the hand logging was going on in this area of the coast and less then 20% in the Vancouver Forest District. This coincides with the building of the Ocean Falls paper mill, so a good portion of its log supply must have come from this source here, this is Ocean Falls in here and you can see by the blue, I don’t know whether it shows up too well from where you are sitting but you can see by the amount of blue compared to silver there was a fantastic shore line exposed and anyone who has been in this country knows what the shore line is like. It is a very steep shore rising straight out of the water. Excellent country for hand logging, and this is where the, this hand logging area, where the hand logging was moving from 1914 on.
It was rather difficult to determine just how much would hand loggers produced over the years as records are incomplete and sometimes did not show hand logger production separately. Whitford and Craig in their Commission of Conservation report of the forests of BC in 1917, estimated hand logger production to 1915 to have been about 500,000,000 feet board measure. That is, they took a wild guess at what had been produced prior to the issuance of licenses and took a pretty good guess, I guess also, in what had been produced after and they came up with a figure of 500,000,000 feet. Reports of the Forest Branch and Forest Service thereafter show an additional 285,000,000 feet given a total of 785,000,000 board. I will just write those on the board so you can see them. That is before 1915 – 500,000,000 and after 285,000,000. 785,000,000 board feet that is up to 1966.
Considering, this is no inconsiderable volume considering most of this volume was produced before 1915. So, the greater part of this volume was produced before 1915, so a good portion of the timber cut in those days especially before 1900 must have come from hand loggers.
Revenue to the crown from hand loggers was never great. Before 1905, it was only in the form of a ten-dollar fee for license. After 1905, the crown-imposed royalty, which was applicable to all timber alienated thereafter including the production of hand loggers.
Maybe I can explain what royalty is – royalty is simply a political term, it is something that the government of the day say that no timber shall be worth less than so that for lands, where royalty is applicable they say that the Crown never divests itself of a portion of the value of the timber grown on that land.
Royalty since it started in 1905 had increased, it started off being oh, something like 25 cents a thousand board feet and now it, we measure wood now in cubic feet and it is something like a $1.50 a hundred cubic feet, no it is more than that, it is a $1.85 about a $1.85 average for a hundred cubic feet and a 100 cubic feet is roughly equivalent – 200 cubic feet is roughly equivalent to a thousand board feet so if you look at it something like $4.00 a thousand board feet which is roughly what royalty is now.
Now if you buy timber from the crown in a timber sale, you have to pay something called stumpage and stumpage includes royalty and of course, the value goes up to say something like $12 - $15.00 per 100 cubic feet. But before 1905 the…...
Side 2 –
1905 the hand logger fee, nothing for his timber at all other than this ten-dollar fee.
My best estimate of revenue is $834,000 over the years made up of $568,000 in royalties and $166,000 in fees. Fees being this ten or twenty-five dollar fee. This is insignificant in terms of today’s provincial revenues and even in its day was barely worthy of comment.
Section 22 of the Forest Act which permitted the issuance of hand logger’s licenses was repealed in 1966 after 78 years. However [said?] many royal commissions studying the forest scene in British Columbia had recommended its abolishment. The Commission in 1910 so recommend, as did Whitford and Craig in 1917. Commissioner Sloan in 1956 pointed out its previous significance and the lack of use in recent years.
The last hand loggers license that one that I am circulating now number 2310 was granted in 1965 to a Mr. J. W. Stapleton and his address was in [Toba?] Inlet for a claim on the north shore of [Toba?] Inlet, a last of a skillful breed. He at least has, as Mr. Caruthers has here the distinction of be the last coal miner, he has the distinction of being the last hand logger.
At best hand logging could be considered as a selection cut but it amounted to simply high grading and a very graceful high grading at that. Whitford and Craig in 1917 estimated that about 40% of the timber felled was wasted through breakage and being left, being felled and left in non- recoverable situations. Trees were dropped and they didn’t go where they were suppose to go and got in behind things that they couldn’t jack the logs out from behind and so on. They had no power machinery so they had to, the tree had to be felled in such a situation that the logs could be brought out by hand. Well, lots of the timber was felled where they could never recover the logs.
And of course, as I mentioned especially when they were falling down the hill, the tree went through such a arc that by the time it actually hit the ground it was going at terrific velocity and the impact when the tree hits past the horizontals is terrific. Even the Douglas Fir, it is very difficult to prevent breakage when you get trees going beyond the horizontal.
Looking at the positive side, most of the hand logging shows were steep and rocky, having only a fringe of merchantable trees along the shoreline. The timber left standing often continued to grow to be logged at a later date as the market broadened to accept lower grades of logs and this was pointed out by Grainger in this article in the Times that even in 1908 the market had picked up sufficient that permitted hand loggers to go back and re-hand log areas that had been logged a few years previously. The market had improved that much, well of course, in terms of today’s market why the things they left behind would be just dandy on today’s market. In fact, we have never had such a market as we have in this, since last fall.
[inaudible remark from the audience]
As long as you can get them into the water, they are worth money. Indeed they are, we’ve never had a market like it is right now.
The practice provided work for the itinerant logger with an independent spirit. Any modern logger and successful businessman can trace his success back to the skills learned during hand logging or to having successful hand logging ancestors. One of the best-written accounts of the hand logger personalities can be found in M. A. Grainger’s classic on early BC logging “Woodsmen of the West”. His Carter probably typified the bullheadedness Individualists of the day. But he did not relate the skill of the profession and the skill was really an essential ingredient.
I referred to this fellow Grainger several times and Grainger was a very interesting man, I don’t know whether many of you are familiar with him. He was an Englishman, came out here about 1905 I guess, he was a graduate from Cambridge. I believe and he was a graduate forester, came out here. Of course, there was nothing going on except logging, no forestry as it was practiced in England and he worked in the logging camps and he, ump.
He went to Knight Inlet, one of the camps he worked at was a ground logging, steam donkey show in Knight Inlet and he, one of his associates there came from Salt Spring Island and he visited with him on one of his excursions down and met his sister. Well, the sister was alright and when he went back up later on he found out that the sister was going to England and he wasn’t going to have any Englishman marry his girl that had lined up for himself so he took off, he had no money and somehow he got across North America and he worked feeding cattle going over to England. He finally caught up with her and he toured around England with her, I don’t know how he lived because he certainly didn’t have very much money.
One of his associates over there that he had known in school suggested that he write a few things because he was a pretty colorful person. He was a person who used to run around in buckskins and moccasins in England, when he went back to England, that’s the kind of person he was. He would be down the street with long hair, so I guess we’d call them hippies today. Anyhow, he was convinced that he should write something. So he wrote this article in the Times I am sure, it doesn’t say his name, it just says by a correspondent but the content of it I am dead sure it was Grainger.
Then he wrote this book and I think he got a thousand dollars for writing this book. There was only a thousand copies published and they are each worth about seventy five dollars a piece right now, they weren’t worth that then but this got Grainger back on steerage on the boat that his fiancé came back on. She came back first class. She married him when they came back here and he did all right.
When he came back he was a technical assistant and secretary to the Royal Commission on Forestry in 1910 which he along with H. R. McMillan drafted the organization of forest service and was one of the original staff of the forest service when it was set up in 1912 and in 1915 – 1919 he was chief forester of British Columbia. So he did all right but he was really a colorful person and I know from people who have known him, he died in 1943, that he was really quite a colorful person. From 1919 until the time he died, he was in private practice as a consultant; I guess one of the first in B.C.
That’s all I really have to tell you about hand logging. I have one other picture. It is very hard to find pictures of hand logging because it seems that no body really thought much of anybody who went around putting logs in the water with just a gilcrest jack. Of course, if somebody did it today there would be everybody and his dog out would be out there with a camera taking pictures of him. But they were all running around taking pictures of these new fangled steam donkeys you know because the oxen were going out. But there are, this is a picture of a fairly recent hand logger up on Redondo Island.
Question from the audience: Is that a gilcrest jack there?
Yep, that is a gilcrest jack in action. And in Grainger’s book “Woodsmen of the West” the original there is about three pictures of hand loggers in there and they are very good pictures. I would have liked to torn the pictures out but I didn’t have the opportunity. But they are very hard pictures to come by. This is quite an interesting book if you would like to have a look at it afterward. It is just old pictures of logging, they are all quite spectacular.
So that is really all I have got to say about hand logging. It is a dead issue now; it was repealed in 1966 so even if you wanted one now you couldn’t get one. If there are any questions I would be glad to answer them.
Audience: What was the use of the springboard?
Well, it was, the springboard, [drawing] there’s a tree, the spring board was, a small hole was cut into the tree and on the end of the springboard was a little iron shoe and looking down on it, there is the board, there was an iron plate and this had a little lip on it here and the was put into the hole and the lip caught on the upper part of the hole and the man could stand on here and it gave him a spring you know, it wasn’t solid like [?], it gave him spring to the swing to his motion.
If you have seen hand fallers’ work, it is a very rhythmical motion, they have, where there is two men working, of course, they have to be synchronized and one fellow working on one side of the tree and one on the other. They are synchronized and their swing is synchronized, the whole motion is a rhythmic motion and the springboard helped them, their legs
Audience: [inaudible] so they could get up the tree further so they wouldn’t have so far to cut?
Audience: The barrel of the tree wouldn’t be any good anyway.
Well not necessarily but [inaudible both speaking] the butt was a problem mainly in the hand logging days of course, you couldn’t handle a turn butt for instance like that you would [inaudible, it appears he is drawing pictures] if it was off center just this much this just dug into the ground. The same with ground lead and ox logging days, they just, this turn butt would just tear up the skids and also if there was any butt rot here they wanted to get rid of that, they didn’t want to have walk along the butt after they got it on the ground.
But you know fallers, strange as it may seem, even when the ground was flat, they would turn the springboard over and stand on the back of it. I have some springboards at home and I have puzzled over this, I have never observed this myself, anyone doing this but I noticed that the backs of the springboards had almost as many cork boot marks as the upper side and I asked one of our bull buckers that had worked in the hand falling days about this and he said that is what they did. They, if they, for instance often there would be a log here [drawing] and the tree would be felled here and another one here and they would lay the board across here and the bottom of the board, [?] end of the board. The board was always, looked like this they rounded, cut this part way away to make it lighter, it was tapered, this end here was very thin and if looked at the board this way, the top would be flat and this would be quite thick here.
The preferred wood for springboards was yellow cedar. They would split them out of yellow cedar and then chisel them down. Yellow cedar was quite good because it was a very strong wood and yet it was light.
End of Tape