Tapping Pine Trees for Turpentine

Tapping Pine Trees for Turpentine.
Turpentine, tar, pitch and rosin are made from the sap of the long-leaf pine. These trees grow along the Atlantic Coast from North Carolina to Florida. You can see how the sap is obtained. A notch called a "box" is cut near the base of the tree. The workman is chipping one of these notches or "boxes." Beneath the "box" is placed a strip of metal to carry the sap into the pan underneath. When these pans are full they are emptied into kegs and carried to the distillery.

At the distillery the sap is boiled and the turpentine in it turns into vapor and rises into pipes. The pipes are cooled with cold water and this cooling condenses the turpentine (turns the turpentine vapor into liquid turpentine). The turpentine then runs out of the pipes into barrels. Turpentine is widely used in making paint.

Rosin, tar and pitch are also distillation products from the turpentine tree. Rosin is used in making varnish and soap. Tar is used in construction of roofs and roads and in medicine. Pitch is used in making varnish.

A turpentine farm contains hundreds of trees. The size of a farm is reckoned by the number of "boxes" producing turpentine. Some farms have millions of "boxes" and employ small armies of negroes who work in gangs under overseers.

The United States leads all other countries in the production of turpentine, rosin and tar. Georgia and Florida now lead our other states. Savannah is the chief port from which these products are shipped.

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