Thursday, December 15, 2016

If this is Thursday it must be postcards, 277

 "Winter at the mountain -- descent of the ridges"

Jullien brothers are attributed as the photographers and editors of this early 1900s vintage postcard that was printed in Geneva, Switzerland.  The identification number J.J. 3056 is found on the same line as the caption.  The scene shows mountain logging by sled or sledge with the caption in English as:  “Winter at the mountain – descent of the ridges.” 

I tried to find other pictures and some additional information about the sleds or sledges but did not find much.  Generally the name sledge implies a heavier sled used for moving objects such as the logs shown.  Some of the photos I did find showed logs piled high on the sledges while these seem to have smaller loads.  The man guiding the front sled holds on to the top portion of the runner and uses his feet to help slow down.  The upright pole on the side is some type of hand brake.  The large log cargo is chained down to two long logs that appear to act similar to a travois as well as a braking device.  The second sled has more logs piled on it and the long travois logs look to be in an upright position.  The driver of that sled has one of his hands on the brake and his feet are more buried in the snow as he follows the first sled.  It is hard to tell if the brake bar is connected to the two long poles and could perhaps lift or lower them when descending a steep slope or is an extra long drag pole to slow the descent.  Accompanying the two sled drivers is a third person on skis. 

The number of ruts in the snow along this trail suggests that several such sleds have come down this same route.  The men are traditionally dressed for work and must have been quite warm even in the snow from the hard labor needed to do this job.  What an amazing peek into how logs were transported down a mountainside more than 100 years ago. 

For general information about sleds, see:

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