A Man and His Crosscut Saw: Mr. S. Fiddick of Nanaimo, 1890

July 13th, 2017

British Columbia has deep roots when it comes to forestry.

Towering Canadian timber was a hallmark of the 19th century. As one of Canada’s primary economic drivers, the timber trade brought prosperity to the country and was a key element in solidifying Canada’s nationhood.

Logging was typically done during the winter months. After the first snowfall, men would assemble and take on the task of logging vast areas of forest. It was easier to fell trees in the cold. The sap wouldn’t be running and pulling trees through soft, sliding snow made for an efficient method of transportation.

Originally, trees were cut using timber axes. By the 1870s, the crosscut saw became a popular choice among loggers. In the picture above, Mr. Fiddick of Nanaimo is carrying a two-person crosscut saw. With a man on either end gripping the handle tight, each would alternate pulling the saw through the grain of the wood. The crosscut saw was perfect for slicing in both directions. The teeth on the saw were specifically designed to prevent sawdust buildup.

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