Throwback Thursday: We’ve been working on the railroad

Our long-time partners in the U.S. Postal Service have a new series of Forever stamps featuring images of hardworking Americans from the early 20th-Century.

The “Made in America: Building a Nation” series includes striking black-and-white images from this era (i.e., the Second Industrial Revolution), where steam, iron, and horse-power gave way to innovations such as electricity, steel, chemical sciences, new communication technologies, and the internal combustion engine. Increasing efficiency in transportation, including railroads, was a big part of this cultural and industrial expansion.


Early FPL equipment for impregnating wood with chemical preservatives

In fact, the primary research goal for early FPL scientists was developing preservatives for railroad ties. More durable rail ties lengthened the service-life of ties in-use and helped ease the demand for lumber, as trees were being cut at alarming rates across many northern and western forests. Over time, lumber treatment and preservation research focused on environmental concerns as well as durability.

For an in-depth historical overview of FPL’s many contributions to the wise use of wood, take a peek at A Century of Research, an overview of 100 years of wood-products science and innovation.

FPL research, working for you… all the live-long day.