Logging in North Borneo


This book gives a very comprehensive account of the history of logging in the Malaysian state of Sabah (earlier known as North Borneo), covering every aspect of the industry from its very beginnings in the late 19th century until the present day. The trade in secondary forest products; aromatica, gums, rattan and beeswax which were collected by natives from locations deep in the forest and transported to Europe and China, some as early as the first millennia, is also discussed.

Every facet in the development of logging from the early days, when manpower was used to sophisticated mechanized operations culminating in the helicopter logging of recent years, is described in detail and illustrated with more than 400 photographs, many of them very rare. Early steam-driven machinery, the arrival of the chainsaw, the introduction of tractors and modern logging trucks—all are covered. Not forgotten are the difficulties—such as the major destruction of infrastructure during World War II—and failures—such as the experiment with elephants.

The various means of transporting logs from forest to port—hand-hauling, rail, road, water—are described in detail, as are the dramatic changes in shipping—from the hazardous days of sailing ships which could take weeks to load taking logs mostly to Australia and China to the specialised log-carriers of the 20th century heading to Japan, Korea and China.

Personalities, both local and foreign, involved in the logging industry are also given prominence, with one chapter devoted to the typical life of a pre-war logger.

  • Preface
  • Introduction and Historical Background
  • Units of Measurement
  • Conversion Factors
  • The North Borneo Rain Forest
  • Minor Forest Products
  • The Capella Disaster
  • Early Days 1882–1892: Sandakan, B.C. de Lissa and the Days of Sail
  • The Steam Sawmills
  • The Early 20th Century and World War I
  • The Creation of a Forestry Department
  • British Borneo Timber Company Ltd: Creation of a Monopoly
  • Between the Wars, 1920–1940: Development of the British Borneo Timber Company
  • First Attempts at Mechanisation: The Introduction of Steam at Bettotan
  • British Borneo Timber Company Ltd: Sapagaya Operations
  • Frank J. Robinson: Résumé of the Life of a Logger in Borneo, 1927–1962
  • The Commercial Use of Mangrove Forest
  • Logging and Forestry Activity during the Japanese Occupation, 1942–1945
  • The Immediate Aftermath of the War
  • Recovery of the Industry, 1948–1950
  • 1951: Bombay Burma Trading Corporation enters North Borneo and Introduces Tractors
  • 1952: Termination of the Monopoly, British Borneo Timbers, the New Concessions and Further Advances in Mechanisation
  • Kennedy Bay Timber Company Ltd: Early Years
  • The Experiment in Logging with Elephants
  • Developments in British Borneo Timbers, 1953–1963
  • Bombay Burma Trading Corporation Ltd; Kalabakan and the Introduction of Leyland Trucks, 1952–1973
  • Introduction of the Chainsaw
  • The Post-war Sawmills
  • The Chinese Towkays
  • 1963–1966: Independence and Confrontation
  • Survey and Exploration
  • Road and Bridge Construction
  • Log Extraction
  • Highway and Off-highway Logging Trucks
  • Log Loading and Off-Loading
  • Rafting, Towing and Shipping
  • The Development of Plantation Logging
  • Helicopter Logging in Sabah
  • Engineering, Maintenance and Management
  • Safety and Social Welfare
  • The End of the Concessions and the Environmental Aftermath
  • Appendix I: Common Commercial Tree Species in North Borneo
  • Appendix II: Sailing Ships Employed in Timber Trade with British North Borneo
  • Appendix III: Log Exports from British North Borneo by Destination
  • Appendix IV: Equipment Employed in 1966
  • Appendix V: Map
  • Bibliography
  • Index

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Additional information

Weight 2.4 kg