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Lumbering In Northern Ontario (1923)

A British Instructional Films production

Click here to see the film

Northern Ontario, Canada. Spruce trees are the source of a great lumber industry. L/S of Ontario landscape with trees and a lake. "Alligators" - steam boats fitted with wheels carry loads from one lake to another over land. M/S of Alligator traveling across the water through the trees. Development of the lumber industry in Northern Ontario has been mainly dependent upon the railway. M/S of train coming around the railway tracks pulling trucks filled with lumber. C/U of the propulsion mechanism of the train - not wheels. M/S of train traveling along. Horses are used to bring the lumber to the railway and in the summer only light loads can be hauled over the rough tracks. Various shots of horses pulling carts through forest landscapes.

"Winter closes the lakes and rivers with ice and covers the forests with a deep mantle of snow." Panning shot of snowy forest landscape. C/U of four horses who are about to pull a heavy load. Man in a fur coat climbs aboard the horse drawn vehicle. Moving shots of several horse drawn vehicles. Men sit on top of the loads they are pulling - no clear what these loads are but not lumber. M/S of a snow plough in operation in a city street.

"The lumberman builds his own "shack" using his broad axe on the stout logs with unerring skill." M/S of three men using small axes to slice wood from logs to make posts for his shack. C/U of man working with his axe. M/S of man sitting abreast a stack of tree trunks he uses his axe to hack away at a large piece of lumber. M/S of men rolling big logs around. C/U of men using metal poles to move lumber around. M/S of man in a snowy landscape using an axe to chop away at a large log. "The victualling of the camps is a well organised business. Herds of cattle are driven to the camps for the meat supply." M/S of cattle walking towards the camera. Shot of men following the cattle. "In summer the outlaying camps are supplied with stores by means of motor boats." M/S of a man in a motor boat. He starts the engine and moves off.

"Many of the lumbermen come from the Province of Quebec and bear strong traces of their French ancestry." M/S of an elderly man carrying a pole suspending two buckets from either end. He puts the bucket down and takes off the yoke. He collects water in the buckets. C/U of the man as he puts the yoke back on his shoulders and walks off.

"Gold is part of the mineral wealth of Northern Ontario, and often the lumbermen take up prospecting in the hope of lucky strikes." M/S of three men digging for gold. "They drill the the hard quartz in which the gold is hidden". C/U of two men drilling through the rock with hand tools. "...or with more primitive appliances, they wash the river gravel in search of gold dust and nuggets." C/U of an elderly man panning for gold. He leans over to look closely in his pan.

"But the search for gold is hazardous, and the wealth of Ontario still lies in the wonderful forests which yield the stores of the lumber yards." High angle shot of the lumber yards. Film ends.

Note: there were probably further reels to this documentary - currently missing. FILM ID:3304.01


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