In Search Of Steam Donkeys Logging Equipment In Oregon by Merv Johnson
In Search Of Steam Donkeys Logging Equipment In Oregon by Merv Johnson
In Search Of Steam Donkeys Logging Equipment In Oregon by Merv Johnson
In Search Of Steam Donkeys Logging Equipment In Oregon by Merv Johnson
In Search Of Steam Donkeys Logging Equipment In Oregon by Merv Johnson
In Search Of Steam Donkeys Logging Equipment In Oregon by Merv Johnson
In Search Of Steam Donkeys Logging Equipment In Oregon by Merv Johnson
In Search Of Steam Donkeys Logging Equipment In Oregon by Merv Johnson
In Search Of Steam Donkeys Logging Equipment In Oregon by Merv Johnson
In Search Of Steam Donkeys Logging Equipment In Oregon by Merv Johnson

In Search Of Steam Donkeys Logging Equipment In Oregon by Merv Johnson

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In Search Of Steam Donkeys Logging Equipment In Oregon by Merv Johnson
 
In Search Of Steam Donkeys Logging Equipment In Oregon
By Merv Johnson
Hardbound With Dustjacket
280 Pages
Copyright 1996

To the people who used them, steam donkeys and other logging equipment made their livelihoods possible.
From its beginnings in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, to its heyday in the twenties and thirties, to its decline and extinction in the 1950s, steam logging captured the imaginations and hearts of generations of Oregonians.
In Search of Steam Donkeys traces the development of the machinery that made steam logging possible-and sometimes dangerous, sometimes lucrative. It describes the surprisingly creative methods that old-time loggers used, modified (and sometimes misused) the equipment they worked with daily; the sometimes funny, frequently poignant, tales of living and growing up in a logging camp; the reminiscences of those who still remember working as whistle punks, riggers, donkey doctors, and hooktenders.
But this book is much more than a collection of personal anecdotes. In Search of Steam Donkeys is filled with detailed photographs, diagrams, and dimensions of many types of steam logging equipment manufactured by Willamette Iron and Steel, Puget Sound Iron and Steel, Smith & Watson Iron Works, to name a few. Also included are ten plans that many will find useful for constructing their own scale models of these machines and their accessories.
The product of a lifetime of experience and of twenty years of active research in the field, In Search of Steam Donkeys tells the stories of the discovery and preservation of the last of these old-time logging machines-many found abandoned in the woods, shop yards, and backroads of Oregon; some of which are now on public display in various museums and private collections.
A feast for the eyes and the imagination, In Search of Steam Donkeys will be of interest to loggers, historians, modelers, buyers, sellers, and machinery buffs, curiosity seekers, and lovers of our Pacific Northwest heritage.
Mery Johnson is a third-generation logger: his father was a yarder-engineer and a donkey doctor. Mery lived in Oregon logging camps and timber towns through his high school years, after which he hired out as a choker-setter. After succumbing to "log fever," he worked for a number of logging companies in the 1950s, and again in the 1970s, in Tillamook County, Oregon, in Washington's Olympic Penninsula, and in Alaska.
After following a variety of occupations (including mill pond work and a stint with a log-scaling bureau), Mery became an industrial education teacher. Now retired, he presently devotes most of his time to the pursuit of logging history.

CONTENTS
Foreword
Introduction
What is a Steam Donkey?
Oregon Donkeys Extant
Oregon Donkeys on Public Display
Explanation of Dimensioning Style
Anatomy of a Steam Donkey
Chapter 1Vertical Spool Donkeys
Chapter 2Wide Face Donkeys
Chapter 3Compound Geared Yarders
Chapter 4Loaders
Chapter 5McGiffert Loaders
Chapter 6Incline Engines
Chapter 7Miscellaneous Related Steam Equipment
Chapter 8Models and Scale Drawings
Appendix
Author's Notes
Organizations in Oregon with Significant Material on Logging
Glossary
Whistle Signals
Additional Rigging Diagrams
Some Suggestions for Continued Steam Donkey Research and News
Bibliography
Acknowledgments
Index


INTRODUCTION
WHY STEAM DONKEYS?
Steam logging equipment has marked our journey through time as the West Coast became a part of national industrialization. Steam donkeys, in particular, were machines whose use typified the heyday of logging in the West, machines whose power and grace left a mark on the men as well as the mountains. Those steam donkeys that still exist create a three dimensional scrapbook of history. Donkeys are, as one writer put it, a link to the "glory days of logging." Those who worked the "big woods" around the steamers speak of that time, now gone forever, with reverent nostalgia. However, it is not necessary to be a steam logging equipment lover to mourn the demise of steam donkeys in Oregon. While you don't have to like donkeys or logging history, it is important to realize that (1) of the thousands that were built during the age of steam, and used in Oregon, only about forty remain in Oregon; (2) of these, only a few are anywhere near operating condition; and (3) almost all donkeys built prior to 1930 were steam powered. How could these machines have disappeared so fast? Why have the traces been almost totally erased? Were the Willamette two-speeds, the Lidgerwood skidders, and the duplex loaders only devices used to transport logs from stump to railroad, useful then, but now forgotten?
These steamers were central to the character of mechanized logging of the time. Each machine had its own personality, its own idiosyncrasies, unlike today (today, the engineer climbs into an enclosed cab and pushes an electric starter). The donkey was unique in so many ways, even in its sounds. How many know what a donkey sounds like? Even among steam railroad fans, few are familiar with the powerful sound of hot, dry steam powering a 12x14 yarder pulling at high speed. It is unlike anything else. The power, the speed, the

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