New England Timbers
BOSTON CABINET WOODS OF THE EIGHTEENTH CENTURY
IN 1634 William Wood in his promotional tract New England Prospects described Boston as “bare of wood,” the residents “being constrayned to fetch their building-timber, and fire-wood from the Ilands in Boates.”232 Furniture craftsmen relied on local merchants, ship captains, inland farmers, and traders for their lumber. During the eighteenth century craftsmen principally used black walnut, mahogany, cedar, and maple as primary woods and white pine as a secondary wood. Less frequently they chose birch, cherry, white oak, red oak, and chestnut. The 1797 inventory of the estate of Samuel Fisk, one of Boston’s wealthiest cabinetmakers, included not only a “Pile of Bay Mahogany” valued at $325.29 and “235 feet Jamaica Mahy” valued at $42.30, but also:
51 feet black Walnut at [$].−4 [per foot]
2 Logs of d[itt]o in the Shed
720½ feet of Mahy at the Mill in Watertown at .14½ pr foot
292 feet Chesnut at 1.50 pr hund
194 feet Cherry tree boards at 2.50 pr hund
573 feet clear pine boards at 12.0 pr M [thousand]
1023 feet Maple joysts at 1.50 pr hundd
844 do boards at 1. pr hundred
2 birch planks
. . .
Ebony & wood for Inlays
Black walnut, popular throughout most of the century, was imported largely from the southern and middle colonies. In 1774 while travelling through New Jersey, John Adams spotted a row of four large black walnut trees and commented, “It seems that these Trees are plenty in these Southern Provinces—all the black Walnut Timber which is used by our Cabinet Makers in Boston is brought from the Southern Provinces.”234
By the 1730s mahogany had become a fashionable wood in Boston. Shipped from the West Indies and Central America, the wood was sold by the piece at local venues or marketed by merchants.235 According to the Boston physician William Douglass (c. 1691–1752), “Mahogany wood of the West-Indies” was excellent for cabinet and joiners’ work, “much surpassing the red cedar of Carolina and Bermudas, which has a disagreeable perfume.”236
Despite Douglass’ comments, Boston cabinetmakers occasionally used red cedar in their furniture. Merchants imported some cedar from the South; however, much more came from the lowlands and swamps of eastern Massachusetts. Based on surviving evidence, the wood seems to have gained popularity between about 1720 and 1760. In the November 28 – December 5, 1728, issue of The Boston News-Letter, the printer advertised “A Fine Red New Cedar Desk” for sale. After the disastrous fire of 1760, Thomas Foot, a local cabinetmaker, listed among his losses, “36 foot Cedar Logs” valued at £2:17:6.237
Boston craftsmen easily obtained native hardwoods such as cherry or maple. Yeomen in surrounding towns often traded lumber with merchants or craftsmen for imported foodstuffs and cloth. While documented Boston furniture of cherry is scarce, John Adams noted during a visit to the Braintree home of John Borland that “The Wood [cherry] is very good for the Cabinet-Maker. . . . It is a tree of much Beauty.”238 Maple, on the other hand, is seen in many pieces of Boston furniture. Japanned high chests, for example, are almost always constructed of maple. The close-grained wood provided an excellent base for the many layers of white lead, vermilion, lampblack, and gold leaf used by the japanner.
White pine, “the tallest and most stately tree of our forests,”239 was common throughout New England. Beginning early in the seventeenth century, merchants and millwrights established sawmills in coastal settlements and shipped cargoes of sawn pine boards and planks to Boston.240 White pine was, according to William Douglass, “much used in framing of houses and in joiners work, scarce any of it to be found south of New-England. In joiners work, it is of a good grain, soft, and easily wrought.”241
Gordon Saltar has prepared the following list of New England woods available to furniture craftsmen in the eighteenth century. He has included those properties which might have been of concern to cabinetmakers. The log diameters represent the average. The geographical ranges represent coastal regions only. An annotated bibliography on the identification of woods is presented at the end of the article.
Arborvitae, Thuja occidentalis, also called Northern White Cedar
Diameter 2′–3′. Light; soft; brittle; very coarse to fine-grained; somewhat harsh under tools, but can be worked to a smooth finish and holds paint well; faint bitter taste; pale brown. It ranged from New Brunswick to southern New Hampshire and central Massachusetts.
Fir, Abies balsamea, also called Balsam Fir
Diameter 12″–18″. Light; soft; not strong; coarse-grained; pale brown streaked with yellow; is used for sugar and butter tubs because of absence of objectionable taste. It ranged through northern New England and western Massachusetts.
Hemlock, Tsuga canadensis
Diameter 2′–4′. Light; soft; not strong; brittle; coarse-grained; harsh and splintery under tools; glues easily; uneven and frequently spiral-grained; light brown tinged with red. It ranged from Nova Scotia to northern Delaware.
Jack Pine, Pinus banksiana, also called Grey Pine
Diameter under 2′. Light; soft; not strong; close-grained; refractory under tools; clear pale brown. It ranged from Nova Scotia to coast of Maine, northern New Hampshire and Vermont.
Pitch Pine, Pinus rigida
Diameter under 3′. Light; soft; not strong; brittle; coarse-grained; light brown or red. It ranged from Mount Desert, Maine, to southern Delaware.
Red Pine, Pinus resinosa, also called Norway Pine
Diameter 2′–3′. Light; moderately soft to hard; high in shock resistance; works easily with tools; very close-grained; glues well; pale red to orange-brown. It ranged from Nova Scotia to eastern Massachusetts.
White Pine, Pinus strobus
Diameter 3′–4′. Light; not strong; straight-grained; medium-textured; moderately soft; moderately low in shock resistance; works easily with tools; glues well; takes paint extremely well; light brown often tinged with red which darkens a great deal on exposure. It ranged from Newfoundland to northern Delaware.
Red Cedar, Juniperus virginiana
Diameter 3′–4′. Light; close-grained; brittle; not strong; works easily under tools; high in shock resistance; fine-textured; very fragrant; very resistant to decay; purplish or rose-red when first exposed, aging rapidly to a dull red or reddish brown. It ranged from New Brunswick to the coast of Georgia.
Black Spruce, Picea mariana*
Diameter 6″–12″. Light; soft; not strong; glues well; easy to work; pale yellow-white.
White Spruce, Picea glauca*
Diameter under 2′. Same general properties as the Black Spruce.
Red Spruce, Picea rubra*
Diameter 2′–3′. Same general properties as the Black and White Spruces, except somewhat closer-grained and slightly tinged with red.
Tamarack, Larix laricina, also called Eastern Larch
Diameter 18″–20″. Very heavy; moderately to exceedingly hard; strong; coarse-grained; moderately high in shock resistance; a slightly oily feel to the touch; often spiral-grained; yellowish to light reddish brown. It ranged from Labrador to eastern Pennsylvania.
White Cedar, Chamaecyparis thyoides, also called Atlantic White Cedar and Southern White Cedar
Diameter 3′–4′ (probably much smaller in New England). Light; soft; straight-grained; fine-textured; low in shock resistance; works well under tools; takes a smooth finish; holds paint well; slight bitter taste; pale brown with red or pink in the late wood of each annual ring. It ranged from near Concord, New Hampshire, and southern Maine to the coast of northern Florida.
POROUS WOOD TIMBERS
White Ash, Fraxinus americana
Diameter 5′–6′. Heavy; hard; strong; works well under tools; close-grained; tough; brown heartwood; very thick light straw-colored sap wood. It ranged from Nova Scotia to Florida.
Red Ash, Fraxinus pennsylvanica
Diameter 18″-20″. Heavy; hard; fairly strong; works well under tools; brittle; coarse-grained; light brown heartwood; very thick lighter brown sap wood with yellowish streaks. It ranged from Nova Scotia to central Georgia.
Black Ash, Fraxinus nigra, also called Brown Ash
Diameter up to 20″. Heavy; fairly soft; not strong; tough; coarse-grained; straight-grained; separates easily along its annual rings, especially in its thick sap wood, into thin flexible layers—basket, splint-seat material. Heartwood is grey-brown to dark brown, lusterless compared to other Ashes. Sapwood is very light brown, sometimes nearly white. It ranged from Newfoundland to northern Delaware.
Basswood, Tilia americana, also called Linden
Diameter 3′–4′. Soft; weak; low in shock resistance; works well under tools; valued for hand carving; finishes smooth; holds paint well; glues well. Heartwood pale brown with very slight touches of red, merging gradually with the paler sapwood. It ranged from New Brunswick to Pennsylvania.
Beech, Fagus grandifolia
Diameter 3′–4′. Hard; strong; tough; high in shock resistance; difficult to work with hand tools, but excellent for turning; stays smooth when subjected to friction; pale rose to reddish brown. It ranged from New Brunswick to northern Delaware.
Black Birch, Betula lenta, also called Sweet Birch and Cherry Birch
Diameter 2′–5′. Heavy; very strong; hard; close-grained; very high in shock resistance; turns well; takes a smooth finish; dark brown tinged with red. It ranged from southern Maine and northwestern Vermont to northern Delaware.
Yellow Birch, Betula lutea, also called Grey Birch
Diameter 3′–4′. Heavy; very strong; hard; close-grained; high in shock resistance; turns well; takes a smooth finish; light brown tinged with red. It ranged at its best in northern New England; small and rare in southern New England.
Paper Birch, Betula papyrifera, also called Canoe Birch
Diameter 2′–3′. Light; strong; hard; tough (but less so than the Black Birch and the Yellow Birch); very close-grained; turns extremely well; takes a smooth finish; light brown tinged with red. It ranged over northern New England; small and rare in the coastal region of southern New England.
Black Gum, Nyssa sylvatica, also called Sour Gum, Tupelo, and Pepperidge
Diameter up to 5′. Usually heavy; soft; strong; very tough; usually with interlocking grain; moderately high in shock resistance; difficult to split; refractory under hand tools; finishes very well; takes paint well; stains well; glues satisfactorily; light yellow to almost white. It ranged from the valley of the Kennebec River, Maine, to northern Florida.
Blue Beech, Carpinus caroliniana, also called American Hornbeam, Water Beech, and Ironwood
Diameter up to 2′. Hard; moderately strong in bending; exceedingly high in shock resistance; splits with great difficulty; stiff; good for handles, vehicle parts, levers; William Noyes wrote in Wood and Forest (Peoria, Illinois, 1912), p. 125, “No other wood so good for levers, because of stiffness”; pale yellowish to light brown. It ranged from Nova Scotia to Florida.
Butternut, Juglans cinerea, also called White Walnut
Diameter 2′–3′. Light; soft; not strong; coarse-grained; straight-grained; moderately high in shock resistance; works well; takes stain well; light brown turning darker with exposure. It ranged from New Brunswick to eastern Virginia.
Black Cherry, Prunus serotina, also called Wild Cherry and Rum Cherry
Diameter 4′–5′. Light to moderately heavy; moderately strong; rather hard; close-grained; straight-grained; strong in bending and endwise compression; high in shock resistance; works well with tools; finishes smoothly; glues satisfactorily; satiny surface; light to dark reddish brown. It ranged from Nova Scotia to central Florida.
Chestnut, Castanea dentata, also called American Chestnut
Diameter 3′–4′. Light; soft to moderately hard; not strong; easily split; moderately low in shock resistance; works well under tools; glues very well; very resistant to decay; greyish brown to reddish brown. It ranged from Southern Maine to Delaware.
Dogwood, Cornus florida, also called Flowering Dogwood
Diameter 12″–18″. Heavy; hard to very hard; strong; close-grained; strong in bending and in endwise compression; very high in shock resistance; difficult to work with tools; wears smooth with use; turns well; glues poorly. Uses of this wood have always been contingent upon its extreme hardness and fine texture which let it work and stay smooth under continuous wear—mallet heads, pulleys, vehicle parts, hubs of wheels, and machine bearings. Sap wood is very wide pinkish brown; heartwood, when present, dark brown variegated with shades of green and red. It ranged from southern Maine to central Florida.
Pignut Hickory, Carya cordiformis, also called Bitternut
Diameter 2′–3′. Heavy to very heavy; very hard; strong; tough; close-grained; straight-grained; strong to very strong in bending and endwise compression; high to exceedingly high in shock resistance; works satisfactorily under tools; finishes well; below average for gluing; dark brown heartwood with thick lighter sapwood. It ranged from southern Maine to northwestern Florida.
Shellbark Hickory, Carya ovata, also called Shagbark Hickory
Diameter 3′–4′. Same general properties as Pignut Hickory, but a definitely lighter brown. It ranged from southern Maine to western Florida.
Hickory, Carya alba
Diameter up to 3′. Very heavy; hard; tough; strong; flexible; close-grained; rich dark brown like the Pignut. It ranged from eastern Massachusetts to Florida.
Holly, Ilex opaca
Diameter 2′–3′. Light; tough; not strong; close-grained; moderately strong in bending; high in shock resistance; stains well; carves well; works well under tools; turns well; nearly white when first cut, turning brownish with time; thick lighter-colored sapwood. It ranged from the coast of Massachusetts to Florida.
Hop Hornbeam, Ostrya virginiana, also called Ironwood
Diameter up to 2′. Very heavy; very hard; very strong in bending and in endwise compression; stiff; very high in shock resistance; durable; light brown tinged with red to nearly white; a thick pale sapwood of forty years or more. It ranged from western New England to northern Florida.
Great Laurel, Rhododendron maximum, also called Rose Bay
Diameter 10″–12″. Heavy; hard; strong; somewhat brittle; fine-grained; light brown. It ranged from Nova Scotia through New Hampshire and southern New England and eastern New York.
Sugar Maple, Acer saccharum Marsh., also called Rock Maple (of “Hard” group)
Diameter 3′–4′. Heavy; hard; strong; close-grained; tough; usually straight-grained (occasionally curly- or wavy-grained or bird’s-eye); very strong in bending and endwise compression; stiff; high in shock resistance; works well under tools; turns well; stays smooth under abrasion; takes a high polish; takes stain satisfactorily; splits radially; glues medium well; light reddish brown. It ranged from Nova Scotia to northern Georgia.
Black Maple, Acer nigrum Michx. (of “Hard” group)
Diameter up to 3′. Similar to the Acer saccharum. It ranged from Montreal to the valley of Cold River, New Hampshire, through western Vermont and Massachusetts and northwestern Connecticut.
Red Maple, Acer rubrum L., also called Scarlet Maple (of “Soft” group)
Diameter 3′–4½′. Very heavy; close-grained; not strong; usually straight-grained (sometimes curly-grained); moderately hard to hard; moderately weak to strong in bending and in endwise compression; limber to stiff; moderately high in shock resistance; works well under tools; glues satisfactorily; takes a smooth finish; light brown often slightly tinged with red. It ranged from Newfoundland to Florida.
Silver Maple, Acer saccharinum L. (of “Soft” group)
Diameter 3′–4′. Hard; strong; close-grained; easily worked; rather brittle; pale brown; thick sapwood of forty to fifty years’ growth. It ranged from New Brunswick through western Vermont and central Massachusetts.
some typical oaks of the “red” group, called “erythrobalanus”
Red Oak, Quercus borealis Michx. (Quercus rubra L.)
Diameter 2′–3′. Heavy; hard; strong; close-grained; usually straight-grained; strong in bending and endwise compression; high in shock resistance; stiff; tendency to have casehardening; machines well; finishes well; average in gluing; some tendency to split along the rays; light reddish brown. It ranged from New Brunswick through northern New England.
Scarlet Oak, Quercus coccinea, also called Spanish Oak
Diameter 2′–3′. Much like the O. borealis except that its grain is coarser, its sapwood much thicker and darker. It ranged from the valley of the Androscoggin River, Maine, through southern New Hampshire and Vermont.
Pin Oak, Quercus palustris, also called Swamp Spanish Oak
Diameter 2′–3′. Like Q. coccinea except that it has less sapwood. It ranged over the valley of the Connecticut River in western Massachusetts and Connecticut.
Black Oak, Quercus velutina, also called Yellow-Bark Oak
Diameter 3′–4′. Like Q. palustris except that the color is usually brighter and redder. It ranged over the coast of southern Maine through northern Vermont.
some typical oaks of the “white” group, called “leucobalanus”
Burr Oak, Quercus macrocarpa, also called Mossy Cup Oak
Diameter 6′–7′. Heavy; strong; tough; close-grained; strong in bending and endwise compression; high in shock resistance; stiff; tendency to have casehardening; machines well; finishes smooth; glues well; tendency to split along the rays; very durable; dark or rich light brown. It ranged from New Brunswick to the valley of the Penobscot River, Maine, Vermont, western Massachusetts.
White Oak, Quercus alba
Diameter 3′–4′. Same properties as Q. macrocarpa. It ranged from southern Maine to Florida.
Post Oak, Quercus stellata
Diameter 2′–3′. Same properties as above species, but also somewhat like the Black Ash (Fraxinus nigra); splits well tangentially; used for making baskets and splint seats. It ranged from Cape Cod and islands of southern Massachusetts to Florida.
Balsam Poplar, Populus tacamahacca, also called Poplar and Tacamahac
Diameter 6′–7′. Light; moderately soft; weak; low in shock resistance; usually straight-grained; easy to moderately hard to work with tools; glues well; takes paint fairly well; light brown with thick nearly white sap wood. It ranged from Labrador through northern New England.
Swamp Poplar, Populus heterophylla, also called Swamp Cottonwood and Black Cottonwood
Diameter 2′–3′. Same properties as the above except that it is a much darker brown. It ranged from Connecticut and Rhode Island to Florida.
Quaking Aspen, Populus tremuloides, also called Trembling Aspen
Diameter 18″–20″. Same properties as the above except that the color is creamy to very light greyish brown; has a silken luster and a finer texture. It ranged from Labrador to Pennsylvania.
Red Gum, Liquidamber styraciflua, also called Sweet Gum and Bilsted
Diameter 4′–5′. Heavy; fairly hard; straight and sometimes interlocked grain; moderately strong in bending and endwise compression; moderately high in shock resistance; works fairly well with hand tools; turns exceedingly well; takes paint and stains well; has an unusually thick sapwood (sixty to seventy layers of annual growth) of light yellow to almost white; heartwood of carneous grey to varying shades of reddish brown. It ranged from Fairfield County, Connecticut, to southeastern Pennsylvania.
Red Mulberry, Morus rubra
Diameter 3′–4′. Heavy to light; hard to soft; strong; rather tough; coarse-grained; very durable; machines well; works well under tools; glues well; orange-yellow to golden brown, turning a reddish brown upon exposure. It ranged from western Massachusetts, Connecticut, and Long Island to Florida.
Sassafras, Sassafras albidum
Diameter up to 6′. Moderately heavy; moderately hard; very high in shock resistance; coarse-grained; machines well; finishes well; very durable; dull orange-brown to greyish brown or dark brown. It ranged from southern Maine and eastern Massachusetts and southern Vermont to central Florida.
Service Berry, Amelanchier canadensis Med., also called Shad Bush
Diameter 12″–18″. Heavy; exceedingly hard; close-grained; dark brown sometimes tinged with red. It ranged from the valley of the Penobscot River, Maine, the valley of the Connecticut River (central Vermont, southern New Hampshire, Massachusetts, and Connecticut) through western Massachusetts to Florida.
Service Berry, Amelanchier laevis Wieg.
Diameter 12″-18″. Same as A. canadensis except that it ranges from Newfoundland through New England to northern Georgia.
Staghorn Sumach, Rhus typhina L.
Diameter 12″–14″. Light; brittle; soft; coarse-grained; orange-colored; streaked with green. From its young shoots, pipes are made for drawing sap of the Sugar Maple. It ranged from New Brunswick to northern Georgia.
Sumach, Rhus copallina
Diameter 8″–10″. Light; soft; coarse-grained; light brown streaked with green and often tinged with red. It ranged from northern New England to southern Florida. In North American Sylva by F. Andrew Michaux (Philadelphia: J. Dobson, 1842), in, 205: “Among the native trees, in the Northern States, the Black Birch, the Yellow Birch, the Canoe Birch, the Red-flowering Curled Maple, the Bird’s-eye Maple, the Wild Cherry Tree and the Sumac, are chiefly employed in cabinet-making.”
Sycamore, Platanus occidentalis L., also called Buttonwood and American Plane-Tree
Diameter up to 10′. Moderately heavy; hard; moderately strong in bending and endwise compression; moderately stiff; moderately low in shock resistance; difficult to split because of interlocked grain; turns well; glues satisfactorily; light to dark brown or reddish brown. It ranged from southeastern Maine and northern Vermont to Florida.
Tulip Tree, Liriodendron tulipifera, also called Yellow Poplar, Tulip Poplar, Whitewood
Diameter up to 9′. Light; fairly soft; brittle; straight-grained; moderately weak in bending and endwise compression; fairly stiff; moderately low in shock resistance; easy to work under tools; glues well; takes and holds paint exceptionally well; clear yellow to tan or greenish grey or brown, occasionally with shades of purple, dark green, or black. It ranged from Worcester County, Massachusetts, southwestern Vermont to Florida.
Black Walnut, Juglans nigra
Diameter 4′–6′. Heavy; hard; strong in bending; very strong in endwise compression; stiff; high in shock resistance; works easily with tools; finishes very smoothly; takes and holds stains well; glues well; very durable; light brown to rich chocolate or purplish brown; dull; straight- or irregular-grained. It ranged from western Massachusetts to Florida. A natural hybrid of J. nigra and J. regia (English Walnut) has appeared in the United States and Europe, and on the banks of the James River in Virginia has grown to a larger size than any other recorded Walnut tree.
Black Willow, Salix nigra Marsh.
Diameter up to 4′. Light; soft; weak in bending; exceedingly weak in endwise compression; moderately high in shock resistance; usually with straight grain; works well with tools; glues well; does not split readily; stains and finishes well; light brown to pale reddish or greyish brown, frequently with darker streaks along the grain. It ranged from southern New Brunswick through South Carolina.
White Elm, Ulmus americana L.
Diameter 6′–11′. Moderately heavy; moderately hard; straight or sometimes interlocked grain; moderately weak in endwise compression, with excellent bending qualities; high in shock resistance; tough; difficult to split; difficult to work with tools; used as the hubs of wheels and vehicle parts; brown to dark brown, frequently with shades of red. It ranged from Newfoundland to Florida.
ANNOTATED BIBLIOGRAPHY FOR THE IDENTIFICATION OF WOODS
Brown, Harry Philip, Panshin, A. J., and Forsaith, C. C. Textbook of Wood Technology. 2 vols. New York: McGraw-Hill, 1949 and 1964. (Carl de Zeeuw collaborated with Brown and Panshin in the preparation of the second edition of vol. 1, 1964, and is listed as one of the authors.)
Vol. 1 contains straight technology, excellent glossary of identification factors, good illustrations, and is the more useful of the two volumes. Deals exclusively with timber woods of the United States.
Carpenter, Charles H., and Leney, Lawrence. 382 Photomicrographs of 91 Papermaking Fibers. Rev. ed. Syracuse, New York: State University of New York, College of Forestry, 1952.
Good illustrations of longitudinal vessels of major pulp woods, most of which are easily identified under the microscope.
Edlin, Herbert L. Trees, Woods and Man. London: Collins, 1956.
A history of British woodlands from the viewpoints of men using these woods throughout changing times and environments.
Emerson, George B. A Report on the Trees and Shrubs Growing Naturally in the Forests of Massachusetts. Boston: Dutton and Wentworth, 1846. 2nd ed., rev., 2 vols. Boston: Little, Brown, and Company, 1875.
An excellent account of the native woods of Massachusetts. Emerson stresses the appearance and uses (particularly by cabinetmakers) of various woods and in the second edition inserts numerous illustrations.
Greguss, Pál. Holzanatomie der Europäischen Laubhölzer und Sträucher [Wood Anatomy of European Leaf Woods and Shrubs]. Budapest: Akademiai Kiadó, 1959.
An important contribution, especially for the identification of European hardwoods.
Identification of Hardwoods. London: Her Majesty’s Stationery Office, 1952.
A worldwide study of so-called hardwoods, that is, nonconiferous trees. Factors for identification and keys are difficult and less precise than those in Phillips’ Softwoods. An auxiliary Atlas of End-Grain Photomicrographs, sold separately, can be useful in conjunction. Together they are somewhat useful.
Jane, Frank W. The Structure of Wood. London: Adam & Charles Black, 1956. (A second edition, revised by Karl Wilson and Donald J. B. White, appeared in 1970.)
Deals with gross and microscopic structures of many woods of different continents. Beautifully illustrated and useful for a beginner in wood analysis by microscope.
Phillips, E. W. J. Identification of Softwoods. London: Her Majesty’s Stationery Office, 1948.
A most thorough work published on the identification of coniferous woods throughout the world.
Sargent, Charles S. Manual of the Trees of North America, 1905. New ed., 2 vols. New York: Dover Publications, 1961.
Very useful for determining those areas in which most species of American trees grow. The inclusion of average dimensions (diameter and height) enables one to estimate whether a particular species is (was) used for lumber.
United States Department of Agriculture. Wood: Colors and Kinds. Agricultural Handbook No. 101. Prepared by Forest Products Laboratory, Forest Service. October, 1956.
Excellent for colored illustrations of common woods.
van Ravenswaay, Charles. “A Historical Checklist of the Pines of Eastern North America.” Winterthur Portfolio 7. Charlottesville, Virginia: University Press of Virginia, 1972. Pp. 175–215.
An excellent historical guide to the uses and commercial importance of Eastern pines. Van Ravenswaay identifies 13 species of pine and 167 common names applied to these species.