It's big, it's heavy, it's wood
December 19, 2014 8:06 AM   Subscribe

Do you know where I can watch a video of actual logs rolling into an actual river?

I just read Out Stealing Horses, which along its way describes the logging process in 1940s Norway. There's a long scene where the characters have cut down many trees, and all the logs are stacked on the bank of a river. They release the catches holding the logs back, and all the logs tumble into the river, to float to the lumber yard. The book's description is great, but I'd love to see an actual video of logs rolling into a river using the technique they use in the book. All I've found are videos of Tina Turner and Beyonce performances.
posted by benbenson to Science & Nature (7 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
Best answer: You are looking for Log Drivers. Try Log Driver's Waltz

It is a campy animated song that is classic Canadian, and frankly awesome, but the start of it shows footage of exactly what you're looking for.

May be interesting to know that my family has multigenerational mill tradition, and some of my relatives did this work. It was very dangerous work.
posted by PuppetMcSockerson at 8:13 AM on December 19, 2014 [7 favorites]

Start here; maybe search for water sawmill videos.
posted by resurrexit at 8:14 AM on December 19, 2014

Here is the Wikipedia page.
posted by PuppetMcSockerson at 8:20 AM on December 19, 2014

Best answer: From Stump to Ship.
posted by Ideefixe at 8:21 AM on December 19, 2014 [9 favorites]

Oregon Public Broadcasting has a great segment on the long term impacts of splash damming and log drives on rivers, which includes some good historical footage; the page has some links to additional information and footage.
posted by Dip Flash at 8:42 AM on December 19, 2014

Not exactly a video (although I bet you can find scenes on YouTube) but the best Frances Farmer movie is Come And Get It from 1936. Early sequences show logging in Wisconsin (actually filmed in Idaho) with logs tumbling downhill into rivers.
posted by Rash at 9:55 AM on December 19, 2014

Best answer: Try searching YouTube for "flottare" and "flottning", which is the Swedish terms for people who transports logs down a river and the practice itself. It stopped being practiced in Sweden (and I would guess Norway as well) in the seventies so all movies are a bit old (My uncle was one of the last "flottare" working in the Kalix river in northern Sweden).

This is the Swedish version, which probably are similar to the Norwegian tradition - but try to find a Norwegian translation for flottare and flottning and I'm sure you'll find some Norwegian movies as well (I'm on my phone now, but can try to find something later)
posted by rpn at 1:54 PM on December 19, 2014

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