Each Saturday morning I review 10 vintage logging, forestry and saw milling photos. This week’s review of vintage logging is about log driver’s and the dangerous work of traveling the waterways.
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Once the kauri logs had hurtled downstream from the dam, they reached calm water on a river or at a sea inlet. There they would they would be chained together and towed to the mills. This Pūhoi worker, Joe Rauner, is using a steel auger to drill a hole through the end of a log. A chain will be passed through the hole and then connected to a stronger towing chain.
The Dancing Camp dam in the Kauaeranga Valley, Coromandel, in 1921 is about to be released. Water is overflowing the spillway at left, the logs are backed up against the dam, and the trip wire can be seen at left. When the moment comes, a bushman yanks the wire. A hammer then swings against the gate, the planks open and a torrent of water and logs cascades downstream.
A Northland ropey accompanies a large kauri log. The ropey had to look after the wire ropes and pulleys as the log was dragged along a muddy rut. The heavy hauling rope is in the foreground and the lighter back rope trails behind.