Marker Monday: Pioneer Turpentining Experiment

In honor of the 2016-2017 Georgia History Festival, “A State of Innovation,” the December #MarkerMonday posts will focus on Charles Holmes Herty, naval stores, and agricultural innovation in Georgia.

Pioneer Turpentining Experiment Marker

Image Courtesy of Mike Stroud

This week’s #MarkerMonday looks at the experiment that revolutionized the naval stores industry in the United States. The naval stores industry originated in North Carolina during the mid to late eighteenth century and began migrating to Georgia in the 1890s to take advantage of virgin pine trees, used in the production of turpentine. Following the move, Georgia became a leading producer of turpentine in the country, but this dominance started to drop off after 1905.

Charles Holmes Herty, 1939. From the Foltz Photography Studio Photographs, MS 1360.

Charles Holmes Herty, 1939. Courtesy of Georgia Historical Society, Foltz Photography Studio Photographs, MS 1360.

The decline in Georgia’s turpentine industry was linked to the primitive harvesting methods of the time which often left pine trees damaged or destroyed in the process. Taking note of the used in the United States and inspired by conservative gum resin gathering methods employed in Europe, Dr. Charles Herty, a chemist at the University of Georgia, devised a new method of harvesting resin needed to make turpentine. On July 20, 1901, Dr. Herty and his assistant, Frank Klarpp, hung a metal cup and gutters on their first pine tree, beginning their experiment. The cup and gutter system proved successful. Herty’s experiment also led to the development of the clay Herty cup because of problems with the metal cups used. The turpentine industry saw renewed productivity, and Georgia regained its place of prominence in the world naval stores market. From the 1890s through World War II, Savannah and Brunswick were the world’s leading ports of shipment for naval stores thanks to the turpentine industry. Not only did Herty revolutionize the American naval store industry, but he also created the first system to manufacture newsprint from pine trees.


Explore the links below to learn more about Dr. Charles Herty and the naval stores industry.

GHS is proud to house a several photographs from the Foltz Photography Studio of Charles Herty’s experimental paper lab in the Georgia Historical Society Digital Image Catalog (search keywords “Herty” and “experimental lab”). GHS is also proud to house one of Charles Herty’s clay Herty cups.

Full Marker Text

Dr. Charles Holmes Herty is one of GHS’ Featured Historical Figure for the 2016-2017 Georgia History Festival. Check out GHS’ online learning materials.

New Georgia Encyclopedia- Naval Stores Industry

New Georgia Encyclopedia- Dr. Charles Herty

Pamphlets from the Internet Archives about the “Boxing” Method and Herty’s Turpentining Method

Charles Herty and Turpentining Collection. Zach S. Henderson Library Special Collections at Georgia Southern University

Charles Herty. Paper Industry International Hall of Fame, Inc.

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