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Last week we saw a sled that carries heavy objects — this week we’re stepping up to wheels.  It looks like you attach this rig’s hooks to one end of each log;  then we’re guessing you drag ’em out of the forest by ox or horse team.

This style of wood removal was probably slow and tedious, not to mention a workout for the animals, but back in the day it was the best technology to be had:  one or two horsepower and a few wheels.  I’d love to watch the guys on Ax Men be handed this stuff and see if they could get enough timber off the mountain.

Thanks to reader Goblirschrolf for the sweet photo.

Toolmonger Photo Pool [Flickr]


9 Responses to Antique Tools: Logging Gear

  1. With that rig you could get trees out of the woods without having to clearcut for bulldozers or build roads for 18 wheelers.

  2. Bryan says:

    Mike Rowe hauled logs with mules in an old episode of Dirty Jobs. They didn’t even need wheels. The episode is titled “Mule Logger” and it first aired on January 23, 2007. He also learns how to make wine barrels.

  3. Roger says:

    Horse logging is alive and well in the United States. If you Google the term you get in excess of a half million results. As far as I can tell nobody is using a rig like what is pictured above. All the setups that I have seen are variations on a chain attached to an evener to spread the load between two horses or mules. Horse logging is good for environmentally sensitive areas where you don’t want to build logging roads. Also good for timber lots where you are thinning a stand of trees rather than mowing down everything in sight.

  4. Patrick says:

    Interesting note on horses –

    between commercial work (such as logging and Budweiser promotional materials), pet & show horses, and just plain ol’ meat, there are more horses alive and kickin’ today than ever. Old tech never goes away, it just gets lost in the swamp.

  5. David Bryan says:

    I wish they’d use horses when they cut timber on my family’s land. A clearcut in that marshy kind of ground looks like the site of an artillery barrage. They use some pretty serious machinery nowadays and although there are supposed to be guidelines protecting the timber property they don’t seem to be anybody’s priority.
    Cutting pulpwood used to be a hell of a bad job. It might just be one man with a saw and a truck with a winch made out of an old differential with a long cable, cutting truck-wide lengths to bundle up and load. The still air in those buggy pine woods in the summer doesn’t hardly seem breathable.

  6. Ben Sumner says:

    The primary benefit of the log arch is to lift the front of the log off the ground when the wheels move forward–thereby easing the burden on the animals and increasing the efficiency of their power. Many horseloggers use an updated version that incorporates trailer tires and a seat.

  7. chris jones says:

    FORD SPECIAL WRENCH. I had a set of these antique sockets mad in N.Y. apparently for Ford. Never could find out the exact nature of their origins. Today while flipping through a 1923 Montgomery Ward catalogue, bingo! thee tey were! Dovetail wooden box Everything Exact. They were sold at Mongomery Ward in 1923 and probebly later. They were some of the first sockets ever made. This was apparent when the ad in the book gave instructions on how to work the ratchet. “just turn the handle back and forth” as if it were state of the art (it was then). Cool, I sold them on EBAY to a guy in Alabama (I think). If he researches as hard as I did, perhaps he’ll find this blog.

  8. The caralog was invented by the S. Miss. slave timberman Ussan Vaughn, used w/ oxen in Piney Woods, a predecessor of the “high-wheel” outfits of Rockies.

  9. Bart says:

    Similar Belgian version found in a recreation area nearby racing circuit Zolder.
    Not sure if it’s still operational. I think not although some forest has been cut in the neighborhood recently.
    See my linked website page on Flickr for a photo :

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