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Tales of the Tall Timber


Series Name
Rhodesian Spotlight


Issue No.
Length of issue (in feet)
Stories in this Issue:
  1. 1Harnessing The Shire River
  2. 2Tales of the Tall Timber
  3. 3Flashes from far and near


Story No. within this Issue
2 / 3
Rhodesian Spotlight synopsis: Two uses of Blue Gum in Nyasaland are for poles to carry power and telephone lines, and by the Tobacco Industry in housing and making barrels for the export of tobacco.
Rhodesian Spotlight Commentary - Nyasaland’s fine Blue Gums are being put to more and more productive uses and assisting in various fields of expansion. Blue Gums are used extensively for mine props and smaller pieces for firewood, but the bigger straighter trees are dragged out of the plantations for a special purpose.
Fifty foot trunks are utilised as poles for carrying power and telephone lines. Mounted on cars they are run into a pressure cyclinder to be thoroughly impregnated with a creosote compound.
The creosote is forced into the wood under high temperature and pressure and several hours later the poles emerge ready to withstand the ravages of even the most ravenous termites and beetles. Thousands of these poles are constantly going into the expanding network of communications and power, which is criss-crossing the Federation and speeding its full development. The humble Blue Gum is bringing the benefits of Hydro Electric power to an ever widening area and providing a valuable source of revenue.
Further uses of Blue Gum are being exploited by the Tobacco Industry in Nyasaland. Between 2 and 4 hundred acres of 15 years old trees are needed for the annual export of Tobacco. The Imperial Tobacco Company maintains its own forestry department and saw mills. From the stacks the logs are put through the saws. Much of the planking produced is used in building housing for the Company, some of it going into the manufacture of simple furniture.
None of the Blue Gum is wasted, off cuts and saw dust are sent as fuel to the furnaces, where having served a useful purpose it goes up in smoke. But its most important use is in the making of barrels in which the separate types and grades of tobacco are shipped to overseas markets. There manufacture has been reduced to its simplest form.
The finished barrels toll into the tobacco packing plant. They are comparatively light and easy to handle, yet strong enough to keep their contents in perfect condition and withstand the buffetings of transportation. There is little need to stress the place tobacco holds in the Federation’s economy not the vital source of foreign currency its export provides. But it is generally known that the Blue Gum is a valuable component in this trade - a readily available item of even greater utility than beauty.
Buildings and structures; Communications; Industry and manufacture; Mining; Forestry
Written sources
Movietone boxfile no.1   Used for synopsis
Production Co.
Central African Film Unit
Length of story (in feet)

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Film Archive

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