Volume I - No. 6
PUBLICATIONS AND REPORTS
'PARK AND RECREATION STRUCTURES' PRAISED
Widespread editorial praise has followed distribution of the three-volume work, Park and Recreation Structures, issued by the Service under editorship of Albert H. Good. Treatment, textual contents, illustrations and general arrangement all elicit generous commendations.
Camping Magazine, published by the American Camping Association, points out (Vol. X, No. 8): "By far the most significant and outstandingly valuable contribution to camp and outdoor literature from the standpoint of physical layout, buildings, and equipment that has ever come to our attention, this wealth of material appears as indispensable to all involved in camp administration. Magnificently illustrated with photographs, sketches, and working plans, each of three volumes are jammed with suggestions useful in organized camps....These books would be an essential investment to the practical camp leader at any price -- at $2.25 for the set it is a plain gift."
The Architectural Forum: "All types are profusely illustrated, both with photographs and dimensioned drawings. The text is equally useful: the program is stated in each case, and specific recommendations are made as to proper location, materials, and construction. One of the most interesting sections describes the work of preserving and reconstructing historic structures; many of these "living museums" have already been completed in various parts of the country."
California Arts and Architecture (August, 1938): "The scope of the books is far wider than the titles might seem to imply, for quite as much space is given to metropolitan, county and state parks as to National ones. There are approximately a thousand photographs--all good--as well as lucid, readable architect's floor plans and elevations of practically every building pictured....The text is so comprehensive that the volumes could almost serve as text books on two dozen of such varied subjects as fire protection, trail making, camp construction and administration, sanitation, drainage, Nature study and outdoor entertainment, and even the restoration of historic buildings and landmarks."
Landscape Architecture, quarterly publication of the American Society of Landscape Architects: "The author has appropriately called attention to the fact that the majority of these photographs are intended to serve as inspiration for the design of similar features using materials and workmanship available in any respective locality rather than to be copied directly without due consideration for unusual requirements imposed by different locations and varying use....This publication should serve as a great source of inspiration to the thousands of persons who are endeavoring to produce more appropriate and attractive park and recreation developments, and to whom the introduction of many features not designed to be appropriate to the surroundings has been most objectionable in the past. To this government agency, landscape architects throughout the country may well express appreciation for an outstanding contribution to the literature of landscape architecture."
Shore and Beach, journal of the American Shore and Beach Preservation Association, (Vol. VI, No. 4): "Here are 604 pages that transcend anything on their subject, or of their kind-that many pages of specialized architectural conceptions that have proved good in their places, which are the great public recreational areas of the nation's north, south, east, and west. On them are perhaps 1200 choice photographic reproductions, accompanied by an abundance of easy, clear, finely-executed plans.
"All credit to Mr. Good for his lively and sufficient textual exposition, but we think that in his text we divine the author also of the unexceptionable plan of selective illustration which substantially constitutes the book. That plan seems to have demanded almost the limit of photographic perfection and the utmost of skilled workmanship in reproduction. Each page reveals, moreover, the expert's touch in layout and design, and all of these preliminaries to a published book, including unusual and pleasing typographic treatment, have been rewarded with the crowning glory of skilled and careful pressmanship. From beginning to end it is a joy to the eye--no monotony or boresomeness, even in such a massed assembly of pictures on a single theme."
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FORESTRY EXPERT CITES NEED FOR RECREATIONAL STUDIES
General Circulation is being given reprints of excerpts from The Place of Forest Recreation in Forestry, a paper presented to the New York Section of the Society of American Foresters by Fay Welch. Mr. Welch, Special Lecturer in Forest Recreation at the New York State College of Forestry, Syracuse, also is chairman of the National Camp Advisory committee, a body with which the Service cooperates in its organized camping activities on Recreational Demonstration Areas.
The reprint contains portions of Mr. Welch's paper which point out the increasingly important position gained by recreation in general forestry programs as manifested, in part, by the considerable economic values indicated in fiscal returns from New England and New York. He outlines the types of recreational use which public forests may serve and deplores the fact that long-ago standardized practices often are ignored by some of those who supervise development solely in its board-feet aspects.
"Foresters as a group," said Mr. Welch, "have been exceedingly slow to recognize both actual and potential recreational values and responsibilities.... This is due in part, no doubt, to the training that foresters have received. Most of our forestry texts and not a few of our forestry teachers continually emphasize the fact that producing wood is the highest use to which any forest area can be put. Typical of this attitude is a statement in a recent text that forests 'are capable of affording places of recreation, but such use should be made with due regard to the main purposes of forest production'...
"I believe it important, that, first, all foresters have a background of general recreational knowledge. To merely modify one's silvicultural outlook is not enough. Such an attitude has been responsible for the fact that frequently in the past the forester on a recreational project has been considered as a kind of head gardener. He was called in for consultation when a question of fuel supply, tree disease or fire protection came up, but was not consulted as to what the recreational needs of given areas were, or as to what land in a given region should be purchased, or as to where roads, buildings, sanitary or recreational facilities were to be located, or as to the conditions under which these facilities were to be made available to the public, or as to the upkeep and administration of these areas. If the reply is made that foresters are not trained for this work then it is time that more training of this kind be given. And in the meantime, I contend that they have as good a background as lawyers, newspaper men, architects, and engineers.
"Secondly, those who take special responsibilities for planning, developing or administering recreational areas need special information and training. They need a good grounding in the basic principles underlying large scale land use planning. They must be competent in designing specific areas and facilities, and they must understand operations and programs. These men will be as much concerned with people, their desires, their reactions and their activities as with trees. They must visualize possible and probable recreational uses to which a given forest area can be put. They must be able to foresee which uses are desirable and practical in view of existing and probable future conditions. They must know how to facilitate such uses, how to safeguard and protect the human users as well as the trees."
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NATURE ASSOCIATION BULLETIN STUDIES CONSERVATION
The American Nature Association is producing a series of Quarterly Bulletins which cover fundamental conservation problems, roadside beautification and methods of measuring progress achieved nationally in reaching general conservation objectives. The fall issue reports comprehensively on a survey of conservation education and discusses the evidences of public sentiment toward its problems. Among other federal agencies, the National Park Service receives attention as a bureau which is actively engaged in efforts designed to promote the dissemination of conservation information.
"It is true that in a democracy such a heritage as our National Parks should be made to meet the needs of the greatest number," says the Bulletin. "There are, however, influences beyond the control of the National Park Service in favor of establishing places in our Parks where dressing for dinner, playing tennis, and dancing would be given equal importance with the unique opportunities now afforded by Nature in these reservations. This is inconsistent with the character and purposes of the Parks."
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BULLETIN DESCRIBES TRAVEL BUREAU SERVICES
The United States Travel Bureau, in its second Official Bulletin, presents a condensed outline of the functions performed by that new branch of the Service. The Bureau--
"Distributes to the public (domestic and foreign) accurate and impartial tourist information regarding the United States and its Territories and island possessions.
"Maintains 'over-the-counter' distribution of pictorial pamphlets and brochures supplied . . . by State publicity departments, Government departments and private agencies.
"Refers requests for information and descriptive literature relating to the recreational facilities of a particular State, Territory, or island possession to the proper agency or official for direct reply.
"Displays exhibits depicting advantages of travel and recreation in the United. States and in its Territories and island possessions in its San Francisco and New York offices and arranges for the loan of such exhibits to organizations.
"Prepares and presents recreational data concerning State facilities for international radio broadcasts.
"Maintains a reference file of recreational facilities of the entire Nation, for use by writers, reporters, and radio script writers.
"Prepares a calendar of events and maintains a file listing the dates and description of important public events throughout the Nation.
"Cooperates with steamship lines, railroads and travel agencies in the protection of group travel to and within the United States.
"Director Cammerer, in another part of the Bulletin, signs a statement which reiterates the objectives of the Travel Bureau.
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HISTORIC BUILDINGS CATALOGUE PUBLISHED
The Government Printing Office has completed publication of a catalogue of the measured drawings and photographs obtained by the Historic American Buildings Survey and filed in the Library of Congress. The data are complete to January 1, 1938. The Superintendent of Documents has placed the publication on sale at 50 cents.
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RECENT SPECIAL REPORTS
A very interesting study of Spanish guns and carriages of the period from 1686 to 1800 has been prepared by Junior Research Technician Borresen, whose study is accompanied by photographs of a number of cannon and mortars of the period treated and by detailed scale drawings of some of the pieces themselves, or of others of the same type, and of carriages on which they were mounted. There also are views from old ordnance manuals showing in detail the characteristics of various kinds of ammunition used.
Although Mr. Borresen states that the greatest handicap encountered in research on Spanish guns and carriages is the lack of descriptive material about them, he has given a great deal of satisfying information concerning the guns, and particularly the carriages, which he describes, and has provided an excellent bibliography on artillery, ordnance, and gunnery in the period covered by his study. Many of the volumes cited are old and rare.
Most of the pieces which Mr. Borresen describes, about ten in number, are among those which are mounted as decorations around the State and War Building in Washington, or as trophies at the Washington Navy Yard. The old weapons, which once represented the power and majesty of the rulers of Spain on the gun decks of galleons or on the ramparts of forts from Vera Cruz to Manila Bay, and from California to Algiers, are remarkable for the wealth of embellishment lavished upon them. Coats of arms surrounded by scroll work, handles in the form of dolphins or grotesque beasts, wreaths, and pious or patriotic texts usually covered the tubes from base ring to muzzle. Such use of decorations, of course, did not enhance the value of the pieces as weapons, but it does add greatly to their antiquarian interest.
Mr. Borresen has added to his study some valuable observations on methods for the inexpensive reproduction of cannon and mortars such as he has described. By employment of the materials and processes which he mentions, pieces of ordnance can be made which are entirely satisfactory in appearance for display in national parks or other appropriate settings, but very much more economical to build than they would be in the materials of the originals.
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The author, a student technician assigned during the summer to Salem Maritime National Historic Site, has assembled in serviceable form the information contained in Derby family papers concerning commerce activities from 1736 until after 1800. Although the data are presented without embellishment, they nevertheless offer a guide to a major source relating to the maritime operations at Salem. The report was edited by Edwin W. Small, Acting Superintendent of the Historic Site.
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