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Bulloch County Historical Markers

Pioneer Turpentining Experiment

  • Source: David Seibert
  • Marker: Pioneer Turpentining Experiment
  • Location: Ga. 67 at Georgia Southern University, Statesboro


Dr. Charles Holmes Herty of University of Georgia Chemistry Department conducted experiments in this forest that revolutionized the naval stores industry in America. Inspired by conservative gum resin gathering methods in Europe, Dr. Herty devised a method using metal gutters and a cup for gathering resin from pine trees. This system was designed to replace the centuries old method of “boxing” or cutting a collection box in the living tree. Boxing had proved disastrous to southern forests. The massive cuts caused insect, fire and wind damage and destroyed valuable timber.

On July 20, 1901, Dr. Herty and his able assistant, Frank Klarpp hung a metal cup and gutters on the first tree. Herty and Klarpp kept careful records on the quantity and quality of resin collected from the cupped tress and boxed control trees and proved the cups and gutters successful. The experiment also led to the development of the clay Herty cup because of problems with metal cups used here. Dr. Herty (1867-1938) also devised the first system for manufacturing newsprint from southern pines and gave the South a tremendously successful cash crop.