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Robert B. Outland III

Tapping the Pines: The Naval Stores Industry in the American South

  • The extraction of raw turpentine and tar from the southern longleaf pine--along with the manufacture of derivative products such as spirits of turpentine and rosin--constitutes what was once the largest industry in North Carolina and one of the most important in the South: naval stores production. In a pathbreaking study that seamlessly weaves together business, environmental, labor, and social history, Robert B. Outland III offers the first complete account of this sizable though little-understood sector of the southern economy. Outland traces the South's naval stores industry from its colonial origins to the mid-twentieth century, when it was supplanted by the rising chemicals industry. A horror for workers and a scourge to the Southeast's pine forests, the methods and consequences of this expansive enterprise remained virtually unchanged for more than two centuries.


    With its exacting attention to detail and exhaustive research, Tapping the Pines is an essential volume for anyone interested in the piney woods South.

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