Tools of the trade
Lumberjacks in early Canada used two types of axes: The poll axe was used to fell trees and lop off branches, while the larger broadaxe was used primarily for shaping timber into square logs so that they could be stacked for storage and transportation. Beginning in the 1880s, poll axes were replaced by crosscut saws, which, when operated by two loggers, greatly reduced cutting time and increased overall production. The next major leap in cutting technology came in 1926 with the invention of the chainsaw by Swiss engineer Andreas Stihl. Today, heavy mechanized tree fellers and harvesters do the work in a fraction of the time it used to take.
Left: Loggers pose with a red cedar on Vancouver Island, circa 1920s.
Right: Lumberman Ed Crocker operates a power saw to fell a tree, Powell River, British Columbia, April 1944.