“So serious is becoming the question of supplying ties for our railroads, that the Santa Fe system recently sent its manager of the timber and tie department on a tour to the Orient and Europe. It was learned that three hundred years ago the Japanese government began to conserve its forests; and that, as a result of its foresight, Japan is now selling ties to railroads in this country and Mexico. That we should be paying a twenty percent import duty on ties is one among many constantly accumulating evidences of the thoughtless extravagance with which our magnificent timber supply has been ruthlessly swept away.”

Scientific American, January 1909

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