Forum Index > Pacific NW History > Osborne Photo Survey Sites
Previous :: Next Topic  
Author Message
Redwic
Unlisted Free Agent



Joined: 23 Feb 2009
Posts: 3205 | TRs
Location: Back on the saddle... between peaks
Redwic
Unlisted Free Agent
PostSun Mar 29, 2015 8:50 am 
Reply to topic Reply with quote
Food for thought/discussion:

I have read multiple trip reports about locations which only had photo surveys referenced were implied as if actual fire lookout/fire-watching sites. I recommend that people exercise caution when reading trip reports that involve the Osborne photo surveys that are implied as being actual fire lookout sites, as some of those sites never had any lookouts for fire-watching purposes despite implications by the TR writers to the contrary. Many times, where an Osborne photo survey was taken is not where an actual fire lookout site was active.

Many of these photo surveys were used as reference material, whether it be to determine the best locations for lookouts and/or to scout out specific areas. A great example I like is the Spark Plug Mountain photo survey site. A photo survey was taken at its summit during 1934, and probably anyone who has been to the summit of Spark Plug knows it would not have been a good location for an actual structure (although the views are excellent). The day before that photo was taken, another photo survey occurred, at neighboring Surprise Mountain... on which an actual fire lookout structure was constructed that same year. So it is possible that the two photo surveys were taken to determine which site would be the best for an actual fire lookout structure, or it is possible that the Spark Plug photo survey was just a request by the USFS while the Surprise Mountain fire lookout was being constructed. But again, just because a photo survey was taken at Spark Plug Mountain does not mean it was an active fire lookout site... it was not. There are similar such occurrences throughout the state.

Here is another observation. It seems like some of the implied "lookout" sites (photo survey sites) which are not in Kresek's book, yet have Osborne panoramic photos, have similar "stovepipe" images and are at similar elevations above ground. I am wondering more & more if those were true stovepipes, and/or if they were part of some temporary platform structure that was used when the USFS when taking these Osborne photos to determine the best locations for lookouts (which did not already have structures). If anyone knows, I would be curious to find out more.

Due to surrounding trees at many of these locations, and considering that many trees were not large or stable enough to provide an adequate perch for photo-taking, it would have been most advantageous to take Osborne photos from a high perch of some sort. And not just a high perch but a stable perch... one which does not waver much in the wind and/or was not shaky. The Osborne photo surveys needed to be steady and somewhat level. It makes sense if a temporary/collapsible structure was used just for the purposes of photo surveys. In my opinion, I think what some people are implying as lookout towers were only photo towers, like a 10'-15' tall type. I think that is a very plausible scenario. Unfortunately, hardly anyone (if anyone at all) is around anymore that saw this stuff firsthand so it is just a guess.

I am not diminishing anyone's efforts and I love this history. I encourage anyone and everyone to visit lookout-related sites, regardless if actual fire lookout structures have been there or if only photo surveys were there. I love reading those reports and findings, too, as the information is both very helpful and insightful.

--------------
"Revolutions are not overnight. The heightist mindset has minimally a 100 year head start. Eventually the climbing community will embrace geocaching." -Paul Michelson
Back to top
View user's profile Search for posts by this user Visit poster's website Send private message Send e-mail Reply to topic Reply with quote
Snowbrushy
Member
Member


Joined: 23 Jul 2003
Posts: 6680 | TRs
Location: South Sound
Snowbrushy
Member
PostSun Mar 29, 2015 5:32 pm 
Reply to topic Reply with quote
Hi. Question -- What are these photos of which you speak, I don't understand. I mean are these photos supposed to be of lookout sites or from the sites?  Have you seen this video and thread? Thanks:  http://www.nwhikers.net/forums/viewtopic.php?t=8015401

This 1963 No Business cab w/same room, same Osborne and same views as before, I'm told.
This 1963 No Business cab w/same room, same Osborne and same views as before, I'm told.
No Business lookout 1963 - present.
No Business lookout 1963 - present.

The above pics. are from No Business Lookout, Lake Cascade, Idaho.
Back to top
View user's profile Search for posts by this user Send private message Send e-mail Reply to topic Reply with quote
Redwic
Unlisted Free Agent



Joined: 23 Feb 2009
Posts: 3205 | TRs
Location: Back on the saddle... between peaks
Redwic
Unlisted Free Agent
PostSun Mar 29, 2015 6:37 pm 
Reply to topic Reply with quote
I am referring to the official photo surveys (using Osborne panoramic photos), from which photos have been posted/submitted to another website.

At least a couple of people on NWH has used that website as a reference for fire lookout sites, although many of those photo survey locations never were used for actual fire-watching. (And, conversely, many fire lookout sites never had any sort of official photo surveys...)

Such photos are awesome, in my opinion. I encourage everyone to visit that website and look at them. They are a great piece of history and I find it very interesting when I get to see comparison views between 80 years ago and present day. My main point in the original post was that people should not trust (or claim) those old photo surveys as being actual fire lookout sites unless there is further evidence beyond those photos/photo data. I would never tell people of a former fire lookout site that was never proven to be one, based on my own conjecture. Certainly, some of those sites were, are, or became fire lookouts but others were not. That's all.

--------------
"Revolutions are not overnight. The heightist mindset has minimally a 100 year head start. Eventually the climbing community will embrace geocaching." -Paul Michelson
Back to top
View user's profile Search for posts by this user Visit poster's website Send private message Send e-mail Reply to topic Reply with quote
Snowbrushy
Member
Member


Joined: 23 Jul 2003
Posts: 6680 | TRs
Location: South Sound
Snowbrushy
Member
PostSun Mar 29, 2015 7:08 pm 
Reply to topic Reply with quote
I'm sure that you are right. To be sure, some so-called lookout sites looked like this:
Back to top
View user's profile Search for posts by this user Send private message Send e-mail Reply to topic Reply with quote
Snowbrushy
Member
Member


Joined: 23 Jul 2003
Posts: 6680 | TRs
Location: South Sound
Snowbrushy
Member
PostMon Mar 30, 2015 5:26 am 
Reply to topic Reply with quote
Redwic wrote:
Many times, where an Osborne photo survey was taken is not where an actual fire lookout site was active.

There could be a few reasons for this, including sloppy history work. Check this lookout site in the Chelan Mountains where there were two historical locations. The first was more of a camp. I've heard that they usually started out as tent camps for a season or two.
http://www.firelookout.com/wa/juniorpoint.html
Back to top
View user's profile Search for posts by this user Send private message Send e-mail Reply to topic Reply with quote
Redwic
Unlisted Free Agent



Joined: 23 Feb 2009
Posts: 3205 | TRs
Location: Back on the saddle... between peaks
Redwic
Unlisted Free Agent
PostMon Mar 30, 2015 5:04 pm 
Reply to topic Reply with quote
Snowbrushy wrote:
There could be a few reasons for this, including sloppy history work.

Very true. That is the unfortunate thing about conflicting information and nobody remaining who handled that information firsthand. A lot of guesswork.

Still, it is all fascinating.  up.gif

--------------
"Revolutions are not overnight. The heightist mindset has minimally a 100 year head start. Eventually the climbing community will embrace geocaching." -Paul Michelson
Back to top
View user's profile Search for posts by this user Visit poster's website Send private message Send e-mail Reply to topic Reply with quote
Snowbrushy
Member
Member


Joined: 23 Jul 2003
Posts: 6680 | TRs
Location: South Sound
Snowbrushy
Member
PostSun Apr 05, 2015 2:56 pm 
Reply to topic Reply with quote
Redwic, this article about a study might help to explain some things. Might not..
http://www.voanews.com/content/cross-time-photos-from-fire-lookouts-reveal-big-changes/2500825.html
Back to top
View user's profile Search for posts by this user Send private message Send e-mail Reply to topic Reply with quote
Billoutwest
Member
Member


Joined: 01 Aug 2011
Posts: 254 | TRs
Location: Redmond Oregon
Billoutwest
Member
PostMon Apr 13, 2015 6:18 pm 
Reply to topic Reply with quote
some so-called lookout sites

Those would be real lookout sites.
Not so called.
Of it had an Osborne Fire Finder or similar tool and was staffed periodically or otherwise, that WAS a lookout.

There is no regulation to say that each lookout had to be in a cab of some sort.

=========

edit:

Quote:
The photographic work, done by Junior Forester Moe, entailed many hardships not only in packing the necessary equipment weighing upwards of 100 pounds to lookout points, but also in climbing trees, poles, temporary towers, or roofs of lookouts with the equipment and facing the extreme winds that occur so frequently at high elevations.


--------------
retired USFS
Back to top
View user's profile Search for posts by this user Send private message Send e-mail Reply to topic Reply with quote
Billoutwest
Member
Member


Joined: 01 Aug 2011
Posts: 254 | TRs
Location: Redmond Oregon
Billoutwest
Member
PostMon Apr 13, 2015 6:25 pm 
Reply to topic Reply with quote
In Forest Service lore.
I would place "W.B." Osborne after only three other USFS employees.

Gifford Pinchot
Aldo Leopold
Ed Pulaski.

This thread borders on sacrilege.

Osborne came up with the camera for these great photos, clever fire finders and as important the piss bag. Those each were extraordinary contributions. I wonder if I should have even dignified this thread with a response.
sniff

--------------
retired USFS
Back to top
View user's profile Search for posts by this user Send private message Send e-mail Reply to topic Reply with quote
Billoutwest
Member
Member


Joined: 01 Aug 2011
Posts: 254 | TRs
Location: Redmond Oregon
Billoutwest
Member
PostMon Apr 13, 2015 6:46 pm 
Reply to topic Reply with quote
About the Osborne Camera

Quote:
The camera used, known as an Osborne photo-recording transit, was designed by W. B. Osborne, a U.S. Forest Service employee, for fire protection purposes. Custom made, it combined the features of an engineering surveyor’s transit with photographic capabilities. Additionally, Mr. Osborne designed the Osborne fire finder to help pinpoint forest fire locations. Osborne fire finders are still in use in many lookouts today.
Osborne photo recording transit, also called Osborne camera.
The Osborne photo recording transit is also called the Osborne camera.
Each camera weighed approximately 75 pounds, and was often carried on the photographer’s back up to the lookout. The film was stationary while the lens rotated 120° from right to left for each frame, providing a fixed focal length across the width of the film.
The sun’s position dictated when each photograph could be taken, with the 180°-300° arc photo taken about 9:00 am, the 300°-60° arc photo about 12:00 pm, and the 60°-180° arc photo about 3:00 pm. The camera was positioned along the catwalk of the lookout when possible, but it was sometimes necessary to climb towers, roofs, and trees to take photographs.


The reason for taking photos on roofs should be obvious.
All the structure from within any cab that held the windows in place.

The Osborne Fire Finder had a nice ability to off-set to one side should a fire start be "behind" any part of the structure.
Digital editing for the Osborne photos would not have been possible.

--------------
retired USFS
Back to top
View user's profile Search for posts by this user Send private message Send e-mail Reply to topic Reply with quote
Redwic
Unlisted Free Agent



Joined: 23 Feb 2009
Posts: 3205 | TRs
Location: Back on the saddle... between peaks
Redwic
Unlisted Free Agent
PostMon Apr 13, 2015 8:36 pm 
Reply to topic Reply with quote
Billoutwest wrote:
There is no regulation to say that each lookout had to be in a cab of some sort.

I never said or implied that. If that is what you took from my original post, then you are way off from the intent.
I have been to lookout sites which had nothing more than a platform, camp, or stump. That is nothing new.

--------------
"Revolutions are not overnight. The heightist mindset has minimally a 100 year head start. Eventually the climbing community will embrace geocaching." -Paul Michelson
Back to top
View user's profile Search for posts by this user Visit poster's website Send private message Send e-mail Reply to topic Reply with quote
Snowbrushy
Member
Member


Joined: 23 Jul 2003
Posts: 6680 | TRs
Location: South Sound
Snowbrushy
Member
PostTue Apr 14, 2015 1:13 am 
Reply to topic Reply with quote
Billoutwest wrote:
This thread borders on sacrilege.

Back to top
View user's profile Search for posts by this user Send private message Send e-mail Reply to topic Reply with quote
Billoutwest
Member
Member


Joined: 01 Aug 2011
Posts: 254 | TRs
Location: Redmond Oregon
Billoutwest
Member
PostTue Apr 14, 2015 1:19 pm 
Reply to topic Reply with quote
Redwic wrote:
Billoutwest wrote:
There is no regulation to say that each lookout had to be in a cab of some sort.

I never said or implied that. If that is what you took from my original post, then you are way off from the intent.
I have been to lookout sites which had nothing more than a platform, camp, or stump. That is nothing new.

And I never said you said that.

My post was in response to the Snowbrushy post. As I included his pics I falsely assumed that to be obvious. My apologies for the needed clarification.

--------------
retired USFS
Back to top
View user's profile Search for posts by this user Send private message Send e-mail Reply to topic Reply with quote
Billoutwest
Member
Member


Joined: 01 Aug 2011
Posts: 254 | TRs
Location: Redmond Oregon
Billoutwest
Member
PostTue Apr 14, 2015 1:27 pm 
Reply to topic Reply with quote

The Fire Fighting Lookout Association offers this buckle for a modest $23.50.
With a fire finder.


also:


--------------
retired USFS
Back to top
View user's profile Search for posts by this user Send private message Send e-mail Reply to topic Reply with quote
Snowbrushy
Member
Member


Joined: 23 Jul 2003
Posts: 6680 | TRs
Location: South Sound
Snowbrushy
Member
PostTue Apr 14, 2015 3:04 pm 
Reply to topic Reply with quote
Billoutwest wrote:
And I never said you said that.

Billoutwest, Thank You for your service. I'm sorry for the confusion. The word "lookout" is sometimes used to refer to the person inside as opposed to the actual structure. That's all that I was trying to say. That's the context. I'm a poor writer, sorry for that!  smile.gif

Back to top
View user's profile Search for posts by this user Send private message Send e-mail Reply to topic Reply with quote
  Display:     All times are GMT - 8 Hours
Forum Index > Pacific NW History > Osborne Photo Survey Sites
  Happy Birthday Creaky Knees, ryleymyers, PNWdave, penc!
Jump to:   
Search this topic:

You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot vote in polls in this forum
You cannot attach files in this forum
You can download files in this forum
   Use Disclaimer Powered by phpBB Privacy Policy