In Tasmania prior to 1940 the logging and saw milling practices were small scale and
rather primitive. The saw mills were scattered throughout the bush and working and
living conditions for the saw millers were extremely harsh.
Felling trees demands extremely hard work and stamina which led to the toughness of
the timber worker.
Chain saws were not available until the 1950s and were not widely used until the 1960s.
Before the use of chain saws two men stood on "shoes" placed in slots cut in the tree
and felled the tree with axes. Once felled the tree was cut into manageable lengths
with a double handed crosscut saw.
Changes in the industry were slow until the mid-twentieth century as far log
transportation was concerned. Initially for short hauls from the stump to the landing,
bullocks and later horses were used. Later bulldozers and stationary mechanical haulers
chained to a stump with a heavy wire rope were used to drag the logs.
The logs were finally loaded on to mill wagons with bullocks or horses and drawn to
the bush sawmill or to a suitable roadside landing for transportation to the mill.
The formation of Tasmanian Special Timbers Pty Ltd in 1993 combined the knowledge and
skills of seven generations of timber people to produce a dynamic and environmentally
sensitive new organization. The individual owners of the merging companies had both
been successful and had risen through the industry in their own right. A decision to
combine the companies created a stronger organization ensuring continuing resources.