Friday, November 16, 2007

Closer Than We Think! Custom-Grown Timber (1960)

The man in this May 8, 1960 Closer Than We Think! strip is injecting color into trees from a walking robot paint-mixer. Much like polar oil wells, this image certainly has a different connotation in 2007 than it did in 1960.

Today's forests simply grow. Tomorrow, this process may be speeded and regulated - as to size, quality and even color, thanks to intensive research work now under way.

The U.S. Forest Service has already developed pine trees that mature twice as fast as today's ponderosa. Rayonier, Inc., is injecting radioactive carbon 14 into trunks to affect cellulose growth. Weyerhaeuser Co. has created new ways to avoid insect damage. And the U.S. Chamber of Commerce reports a treatment that will pre-color lumber while the trees are still growing; thus painting of wood may one day become a thing of the past.

See also:
Closer Than We Think! (1958-1963)
Closer Than We Think! Fat Plants and Meat Beets (1958)
Robot Farms (1982)
Going Backward into 2000 (1966)


Dennis said...

Nothing highlights the magic of a pre-colored tree like a crudely drawn black and white image.

I probably have a lot of misconceptions about what improvements technology will bring, but I certainly hope none of them are as stupid as a sincere belief in the endless possibilities of pre-colored trees.

Amio Cajander said...

I agree with Dennis about the pre-colored trees.

Nevertheless I think that the walking forest machine is a very interesting concept.

Nowadays it is being developed by Timberjack and Plustech

See: Forest Walking Machine

Anonymous said...

Next Week:
Electronic Policing

Oh boy!

Anonymous said...

Nowadays it is being developed by Timberjack and Plustech

The forest walker has been around for quite a time in Finland which, with Sweden, is unbeatable when it comes to forestry. Plustech Oy is a Finnish company. Just goes to show that huge corporations always need smaller companies to innovate, never the other way around.