University of Idaho

Manuscript Group 180


Papers, 1932-1985
3 cubic feet

The papers of Herbert Baldwin McKean of Lewiston, Idaho were donated to the University of Idaho Library by Mr. McKean in August 1986. They were processed by Judith Nielsen in January 1990.


Herbert Baldwin McKean was born in Williamsport, Pennsylvania, November 28, 1911, the son of Scott Rockwell and Martha (Hutchings) McKean. He entered the New York State College of Forestry, Syracuse University in September 1929, receiving his B.S. degree in Wood Utilization in June 1933. He did graduate work on scholarship and received his Master of Forestry degree from the same university in June 1934. Later, in 1942, he received his Ph.D. degree from the University of Michigan.

He began his career as a tie and log buyer for T.J. Moss Tie Co. in western Tennessee, where he was employed from June 1934 to September 1935. From 1935 to 1942 he taught wood technology and utilization in the forestry department at Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge. Following receipt of his Ph.D. he became a technologist at the U.S. Forest Products Laboratory in Madison, Wisconsin. From 1945 to 1954 he worked for Timber Engineering Company, Washington, D.C., first as assistant and later as associate director of research.

In 1954 he was hired by Potlatch Forest, Inc., Lewiston, Idaho, to start and build a Research and Development Department. He was elected Vice President of Research and Development in 1968, serving in that capacity until his retirement on December 31, 1976. Some notable developments during his administration at Potlatch include laminated roof decking, stored heat glue curing, the world's first oriented strand commercial plant, coatings for high quality printing papers, new paper grades, and a reduction in operating costs for the sulphite pulp mill. He was the first to conceive and use the idea of measuring the modules of elasticity as a nondestructive test or mechanical method for grading lumber, and was responsible for the development and commercialization of machine stress rating (MSR) of lumber in the U.S. and holds the first U.S. patent on MSR. He also received the Charles Dudley medal from the American Society for Testing and Materials for this work.

From 1955 to 1959 he served as a trustee of the Inland Empire Section of the Forest Products Research Society, serving as chairman in 1957. In 1958 he became a charter member of the organization which later became the Society of Wood Science and Technology. From 1968 to 1990 he served as Chairman of the Board of Review of the American Lumber Standards Committee. Following his retirement from Potlatch he was associated with International Executive Services Corporation as a wood products consultant, working in the United States and foreign countries.


The papers of Herbert B. McKean span the years 1932 to 1985, with the bulk of the material covering the years 1940 to 1976.

The papers include talks given by and articles written by McKean, other articles pertaining to various aspects of forestry, correspondence dealing with specific topics, reports on foreign consulting jobs, and photographs.


Most of the material in this record group was in labeled folders or three ring binders when it was received, but the items were in no apparent order, therefore a series order was imposed during processing.

The first series contains a large collection of typescripts and reprints of McKean's talks before forestry groups and articles written for forestry journals. Some items in this group have research notes or illustrations attached. In a few cases correspondence is also attached to the speech. Also included in this series are his M.A. thesis and Ph.D. dissertation. The items in this series are arranged chronologically, the smaller items being combined three or four to a folder, and the items having a number of pages or attachments having individual folders.

The Oriented Strand Products (OSP) series is divided into two subseries. The first of these, Reports, were removed from three ring binders; their original order was maintained and each section contains its own table of contents. The second subseries contains other articles and notes on OSP found in the collection.

The third series contains correspondence, notes, and reports relating to McKean's status as an international consultant on forest products. Included are items relating to a six week trip to Europe in 1965, and trips to Zambia and Brazil which he made following his retirement from Potlatch.

The next series, entitled Research & Development, contains articles, pencil notes, typed outlines of procedures, correspondence, annual reports, brochures and other publications dealing with his position as vice president for research and development at the Potlatch Company in Lewiston.

The final series contains forest industry related articles, photographs of forest products, and several manuals from his early career with the Forest Products Laboratory.


I.	Articles and Talks, 1932-1985	1
II.	Oriented Strand Products, 1970-1985	1-2
	A.	Reports, 1970-1976
	B.	Other Related Papers, 1973-1985
III.	International Consulting, 1965-1985	2
IV.	Research and Development, 1946-1984	2-3
V.	Photographs and Other Papers, 1935-1984	3


I. Articles and Talks, 1932-1985

1	1	Bibliography, 1935-1953	2
	2	Undated talks	2
	3	The Michigan-California Lumber Company Operation (a paper written as a requirement for graduation from Syracuse University), 1932	1
	4	Motor Truck Transportation of Logs in Central New York (Master of forestry thesis, Syracuse, New York) 1943	1
	5	Production of Sawed Oak Cross Ties in the Lower Tennessee Valley, 1936-1938	4
	6-8	1939-1942	12
	9	Glued Laminated Beams Composed of Two Wood Species (Dissertation, University of Michigan), 1942	1
	10-11	1943-1944	13
	12	Mechanical Properties and Design Procedures for Glued Laminated Beams Composed of Two Wood Species. University of Michigan School of Forestry and Conservation, Bulletin no. 11, 1944.	1
	13-15	1945-1948	20
	16	National Lumber Manufacturers Association addresses, 1949	3
	17-20	1950-1959	17
	21-22	1960-1961	17
	23	Wood Product Development, presented at the 50th anniversary celebration of New York State College of Forestry, Syracuse, April 13, 1961	1
	24-26	1962-1964	8
	27	Forestry at the Top of the Nation, Society of American Foresters, Denver, Colorado, September 28, 1964	1
	28	1965	6
	29	Electro-Mechanical Stress Rating of Lumber, paper for the 3rd CIB Congress, Copenhagen, Denmark, August 1965	1
	30	1966-1967	3
	31	Have the Forest Products Industries Lagged Behind Other Industries in Research & Development, A Paper presented at a Conference on "The History of The Forest Products Industries", Harvard Graduate School of Business Administration, Boston, May 1966.	1
	32	Apercu of the Wood and Wood Fiber Products Industry, Presented at the 25th Western Conference, The Society of the Plastics Industry, San Francisco, May 2, 1968	2
	33	Some Ideas on How "The Forest Products Utilization Program" Can Aid Western Forest Products Industry, U.S. Forest Service Representatives Meeting, Madison, Wisconsin, May 12, 1971	1
	34	The Future of Softwood Dimension Lumber, Forest Products Research Society Annual Meeting, Dallas, June 19, 1972	1
	35	Oriented Wood Strand Structural Panels (manuscript submitted for publication), December 1974	1
	36-37	1976-1977	18
	38	Commercializing Newly Developed Products and Processes, Forest Products Research International Symposium, Pretoria, South Africa, April 1985	12
	39	Ten Years of Oriented Strand Board (OSB), Forest Products Research International Symposium, Pretoria, South Africa, April 1985 	9

II. Oriented Strand Products (OSP), 1970-1985

A. Reports, 1970-1976

	40-42	Physical properties, 1970-1976	42
	43	Products, 1972-1973	7
	44	Species and wood variables, 1973-1976	8
	45	General, 1972-1976	7
2	46	Pilot plant, 1972-1975	4
	47-48	Marketing, 1973-1975	9
	49-50	Operating variables, 1972-1976	22
	51	Cost & economics, 1970-1976	5
	52	Equipment, 1973-1976	9

B. Related Papers, 1973-1985

	53-54	General information, 1975-1985	61
	55	Cross ties, 1977-1981	3
	56	Marketing, 1976	4
	57	Seminar, n.d.	8
	58	Statements of income and production, 1976	10

III. International Consulting, 1965-1985

	59	European trip, 1965	72
	60	International Executive Service Corporation, 1977-1985	45
	61	Saab Systems, 1977-1983	32
	62	Notebook on trips to Zambia and Brazil, 1980-1982	1
	63-64	Food and Agriculture Organization, U.S. and Zambia, 1980	24
	65	Notes for a report on the trip to Zambia for the World Bank, 1980	14
	66	Brazil trip, correspondence, 1981-1984	58
	67	Articles about Brazil, 1981-1984	6
	68	Report of Brazil trip: Research Management and Research Objectives and Priorities for CPPF (Centro de Pesquisa de Produtos Florestias), 1982	1

IV. Research and Development, 1946-1984

	69	Aspinate and waferboard, 1975-1976	7
	70	Commercializing PFI products, 1964-1965	2
	71	The Competitive Position and Manufacture of Goss Fiberboard, by Timber Engineering Company, 1946	1
	72-75	Eastern Study: A Proposed Northeast Division for Wood Products Group, 1968-1983	42
3	76-77	Elmdorf Research, Inc., 1954-1982	24
	78	Machine stress rating, 1984	1
	79-81	Management material, 1965-1981	84
	82	Measuring research & development, 1967-1972	6
	83-84	Metric conversion, 1974-1982	41
	85	Plystran analysis after 18 months, 1977	2
	86	Reports: annual, miscellaneous & lists of Wood Products Research and Development Department, 1968-1980	47
	87-88	Research management meetings, 1968-1970	3
	89	Seasoning of wood, 1976-1978	19
	90	University of California patent, 1978	1
	91	Whole tree chipping, 1976-1983	9
	92	Miscellaneous articles on wood products, 1963-1982	2

V. Photographs and Other Papers, 1935-1984

	93	American Plywood Association publications, 1974-1984	7
	94	The Influence of Wood Furnish Type on Properties of Oriented Strand Panels, by Manoel Sobral Filho (dissertation, University of Idaho), 1979	1
	95	Michigan Technological University. Agreement, 1975	5
	96	Other timber industry articles, 1973-1982	10
	97	Renewable Resources for Industrial Materials. National Research Council, 1976	1
	98	Wood and Fiber. Journal of the Society of Wood Science and Technology, 1976	1
	99	Travel itineraries and other personal information, 1965-1974.	33
	100	Photographs: National Lumber Manufacturers Association Applied Research Award, 1962	2
	101	Slides: used for talk on commercialization, n.d.	17
	102	Photographs and negatives: Oriented Strand Products, 1978	12
	103	Slides: Potlatch Plant, Lewiston, Idaho, 1976	11
	104	Slides: trial marketing, 1973-1976	21
	105	Photographs: McKean with Governor Evans; McKean with Mr. Booth of Borden Chemical Co., n.d.	3
	106	Forest Products Laboratory. Wood handbook, 1935	1
	107	Forest Products Laboratory. Technical notes, 1953-1945	1
	108	War Department, Ordnance Office. Packaging manual, 1942	1

November 1995 / mg180.htm

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