Skip to Main Content
U.S. Forest Service
Caring for the land and serving people

United States Department of Agriculture

Home > Search > Publication Information

  1. Share via EmailShare on FacebookShare on LinkedInShare on Twitter
    Dislike this pubLike this pub
    Author(s): Christopher D. Risbrudt
    Date: 2005
    Source: Handbook of wood chemistry and wood composites. Boca Raton : CRC Press, 2005: pages 1-5.
    Publication Series: Miscellaneous Publication
    PDF: View PDF  (179 KB)

    Description

    Forests, and the wood they produce, have played an important role in human activity since before recorded history. Indeed, one of the first major innovations of humankind was utilizing fire, fueled by wood, for cooking and heating. It is very likely that early hominids used wood fires for cooking as long as 1.5 million years ago (Clark and Harris 1985). Clear evidence of this use of wood exists from sites 400,000 years old (Sauer 1962). Since this ancient beginning, the uses of wood, and the value of the forest, have expanded dramatically, as the population of humans and their economies grew. Wood was used in myriad products, including agricultural implements and tools, shelters and houses, bridges, road surfaces, ships and boats, arrows and bows, spears, shoes, wheelbarrows, wagons, ladders, and thousands of others. Other important products that forests provided were food, in the form of berries, nuts, fruits, and wild animals, and, of course, fuel. Wood was the most important material in early human economies, and though other materials have grown in importance, wood used for solid products, fiber, and chemicals is still the largest single type of raw material input by weight—with the one exception of crushed stone, sand, and gravel—into today’s economy (Haynes 2003).

    Publication Notes

    • We recommend that you also print this page and attach it to the printout of the article, to retain the full citation information.
    • This article was written and prepared by U.S. Government employees on official time, and is therefore in the public domain.

    Citation

    Risbrudt, Christopher D. 2005. Wood and society. Handbook of wood chemistry and wood composites. Boca Raton : CRC Press, 2005: pages 1-5.

    Keywords

    Wood, society, wood utilization

    Related Search


    XML: View XML
Show More
Show Fewer
Jump to Top of Page
https://www.fs.usda.gov/treesearch/pubs/22121