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Log Scaling On Android Allegro 3

A Table for Measuring Logs History

In doing my research on Log Scaling, I came acroess this reference:


In Frank Freese's book "A Collection of Log Rules."
Note that the quote refers to a "Table for Measuring Logs" published in 1825 in Plymouth, Maine. I wanted to learn more about this piece of scaling history, so I tracked down Freese's reference to the Graves (Forest Mensuration, 1906) book. Here is the source:


A couple of things to note:
1) The author in anonymous
2) The town Graves cites is Portsmouth, Maine. Freese cites Plymouth, Maine. There is no Portsmouth, Maine, but there is Portsmouth, New Hampshire, just a stone's throw across a river from Maine. 3) Graves offers no citation for the Table.

There is also this quote:


from HISTORY OF YARD LUMBER SIZE STANDARDS (1964), by L.W. Smith and L.W. Wood. This quote hypothesizes that the town was not Portsmouth, Maine, but Portland, Maine.
So, we have a real puzzle here.
After a few hours on Google, I uncovered this gem:


From the Bethel, Maine, Historical Society.
The Creator is cited as: Twitchell, Eleazer, 1744-1818
The Description of the item is:

"At the time of first settlement by white people, many towns on the Androscoggin boasted sizeable stands of white pine that thrived in the thin soils along the river’s banks. Eleazer Twitchell, a prominent Bethel resident, capitalized on this by acquiring large parcels of intervale land and cutting these old-growth trees, which he floated downriver to sawmills in Brunswick. To assist in his calculation of the timber’s lumber potential, he created and had printed this 'Table for measuring Logs' in the 1790s."

If this is true, then the first Log Table was actually created in the 1790's, well before the 1825 Date cited by Graves. Indeed, if Elezear Twitchell was the creator, the latest date would be 1818, the year of his death. It is also somewhat curious that the date ascribed by Graves is the same date as the original Doyle table.

We do know that this is the same table to which Graves referred because of the identical language in describing the means of generating the table's values:


We also see the words:
"This table was made by Capt Elezear Twitchell"
"Furnished by Joseph A. Twitchell"
pencilled in on the front page:

Joseph A. Twitchell most likely refers to Eleazer's son.

It also turns out that Bethel, Maine, held a 100 year celebration in 1874. An extensive report of the celebration was printed.


As part of the exhibit list was an entry:
"Scales for Measuring Logs by Capt. Elezear Twitchell. -- A. S. Twitchell, Esq."


The report also sketches out Bethel's early days:
"In 1774, Capt. Joseph Twitchell built a saw-mill on the fall near Eber Clough's starch factory. The remains of the dam may still be seen . This appears to have been the first building erected in town, save a few log camps. The same year he erected at the lower fall on Mill Brook a grist mill on the spot where the present mill now stands. On the opposite side of the street, on the little island now owned by David Brown, Esq., was erected the first frame house in town in 1779. It was built to accommodate the workmen in the mill . It had a long, shed roof reaching nearly to the ground, and had two rooms. It has a subsequent history which will be noticed hereafter."
Joesph Twitchell was Elezear's father a built a sawmill in 1774.
Joseph then convinced his son to move to Bethel and take over his mills:
"During this year (1779), Capt. Joseph Twitchell, the original proprietor of the mills, persuaded his son, Capt. Eleazar Twitchell, then living in Dublin, N. H., to move with his family to Bethel, and take charge of his father's property. Accordingly, Capt. Twitchell, his wife, and wife's sister, Betsey Mason, five children, and six hired men, viz.: John Grover, Jeremiah Andrews, Gideon, Paul, and Silas Powers, and a Mr. Fisk, left Dublin and came as far as Fryeburg in the winter of 1780, and in the spring reached Sudbury Canada (Bethel, Maine).
All in all, it seems reasonable to conclude that Elezear Twitchell, as the manager of a sawmill, needed a means to reckon the value of logs to be processed in his the mill. He created the "Table for Measuring Logs" in order to consistently assess the value of logs he purchased from the virgin forests. He had the table printed and circulated so that log dealers would know what value (or board feet) Twitchell's sawmill would place on their logs. Perhaps, over time, the document found its was to Portland, ME or Portsmouth, NE. Indeed, in all likelihood it was not printed in Bethel, but in some other town with a printing business. It is also possible that another newspaper or printer obtained a copy of Twitchell's table and reprinted it in the early 1800's. Perhaps a reprint is what Graves obtained. As there is no author nor date on the document, we are left with our own speculation.
Below are images of the table itself.
Image 1: Front Page and a Table for the BF in Lumber cut 31' to 57' long and 12" x 12" to 19" x 19" square. The table here is not the Log Scale table, but a table for cut lumber.
Image 2: Description of the Log Rule and Table for the BF in Lumber cut 5' to 30' long and 12" x 12" to 19" x 19" square. Again, the table here is not the Log Scale table, but a table for cut lumber.
Image 3: This is the first part of the Log Scale table, with lengths running from 12' to 40' and diameters running for 19" to 32".
Image 4: This is the second part of the Log Scale table, with lengths running from 12' to 40' and diameters running for 12" to 18", and also with lengths running from 12' to 32' and diameters running for 33" to 40".




One additional hint as to the age of the document is the use of the long 's' that looks like a lower case 'f'. See below.


See the words 'stick' and 'square' in the image.
Here is a bit of history from Wikipedia:

"The long s 'ſ', also known as the medial s or initial s, is an archaic form of the lowercase letter 's'."

"The long s disappeared from new typefaces rapidly in the mid-1790s, and most printers who could afford to do so had discarded older typefaces by the early years of the 19th century. Pioneer of type design John Bell (1746–1831), who started the British Letter Foundry in 1788, commissioned the William Caslon Company to produce a new modern typeface for him and is often "credited with the demise of the long s".

"Unlike the 1755 edition, which uses the long s throughout, the 1808 edition of the Printer's Grammar describes the transition away from the use of the long s among type founders and printers in its list of available sorts:"

"The introduction of the round s, instead of the long, is an improvement in the art of printing equal, if not superior, to any which has taken place in recent years, and for which we are indebted to the ingenious Mr. Bell, who introduced them in his edition of the British Classics [published in the 1780s and 1790s]. They are now generally adopted, and the [type founders] scarcely ever cast a long s to their fonts, unless particularly ordered. Indeed, they omit it altogether in their specimens ... They are placed in our list of sorts, not to recommend them, but because we may not be subject to blame from those of the old school, who are tenacious of deviating from custom, however antiquated, for giving a list which they might term imperfect."
—Caleb Stower, The Printer's Grammar (1808).

"An individual instance of an important work using s instead of the long s occurred in 1749, with Joseph Ames's Typographical Antiquities, about printing in England 1471–1600, but 'the general abolition of long s began with John Bell's British Theatre (1791)'."

"Printers in the United States stopped using the long s between 1795 and 1810: for example, acts of Congress were published with the long s throughout 1803, switching to the short s in 1804. In the US, a late use of the long s was in Low's Encyclopaedia, which was published between 1805 and 1811. Its reprint in 1816 was one of the last such uses recorded in America."

That Elezear Twitchell's table used the long s, is one more fragment of evidence that is was published in the late 1700's or very early 1800's; almost certainly prior to 1825.

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