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SAWPOWER: MAKING LUMBER IN THE SAWMILLS OF NOVA SCOTIA.

Robertson, Barbara R.

Halifax, Nimbus Publishing and the Nova Scotia Museum, c1986. 244pp, paper, $19.95. ISBN 0-920852-53-X. CIP

Grades 6 and up
Reviewed by Pauline Henaut

Volume 15 Number 3
1987 May


This book is far more than just a history of Nova Scotian sawmills; it records a broad range of information about the development of technology in the province and, through photographs and other details, gives us glimpses of social life from the late 1680ís to the mid-1900ís. In chapters on waterpower, steam-power, transportation, shipbuilding, machinery, and management, we learn how various technologies affected or were affected by the development of sawmills. It may surprise many readers to learn that, for a long period of time, sawmills have made a major contribution to Nova Scotia's overall growth; the 1861 census recorded a total of 1401 sawmills in the province.

Barbara Robertson's work at the Nova Scotia Museum, as well as her interests in technology and photography, have equipped her well to write this book. The meticulously researched and very readable text is enhanced by numerous illustrations and photographs, many of which were taken by the author. The attractive layout encourages browsing. The book includes a detailed index, glossary, notes on each chapter, tables, and an extensive bibliography.

Sawpower will be an important addition to school and public libraries in Nova Scotia, and to the Nova Scotia history collections of other Canadian libraries. It will appeal to a wide range of users of many ages, from the browser to the scholar. Recommended.


Pauline Henaut, New Glasgow Schools, New Glasgow, N.S.
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