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Sandberg, Lena, 2000. "Anders Andersson hade eld i sin tjärdal" : en analys av Jonas Åströms dagböcker 1868-1891. SLU, Dept. of Forest Ecology and Management, Umeå. Umeå: SLU, Dept. of Forest Ecology and Management



"Anders Andersson had a fire in his tar-kiln ". Analysis of Jonas Åström 's peasant-diary 1868-1891

Peasant diaries are notes written by farmers, crofters and other people connected with small-scale agriculture. The notes give unique information about diverse aspects of rural life, for example, personal relationships and work, travel and regularity of church attendance. One such diary was written by Jonas Åström who lived in the county of Västerbotten, Sweden. The main aim of this study is to describe the work done by farmers in the 19th century, focusing on their use of forest resources, as recorded in his diary. A second goal is to relate Jonas Åström's life and work to the transitional period he lived in, the late 19th century, when a timber-frontier moved across northern Sweden.

Jonas Åstrom lived in the village Vindel-Ånäset in the county of Västerbotten in Sweden. He kept a diary between 1868 and 1891, and earned his living by farming and trading. The forest was not affected by the sawmill industry until the beginning of the 19th century. The forest landscape was heavily influenced by repeated forest fires and characterised by old-growth forest. When industrialisation reached Västerbotten during the late 19th century, a great demand for timber followed. The farmers combined farming and forestry and the increased logging changed the character of the forest.

Jonas Åström was a versatile person. He was a farmer, but he obtained additional income from logging, tar burning, hunting and fishing. He adjusted his activities to the season, and undertook supplementary work to boost his income when farming was least intensive. The main part of the year was devoted to forestry and travelling. Collection of winter-fodder also took up quite a lot of his time. Efforts devoted to heavy work, such as forestry, declined over the years, while those spent on lighter tasks like preparing accounts, writing, hunting and fishing increased. A detailed study of the firewood gathered at the farm revealed that birch was the most commonly used wood for this purpose. About 50% of the firewood consisted of birch, 24% of freshly cut wood and 16% of dry spruce. The farmer's sons felled and transported the firewood while workers hired by the day cleaved it. Most of the diary records are notes about the weather and the farm work, but it also contains more personal and philosophical observations and reflections, which is very uncommon in peasant diaries from the 19th century.

Main title:"Anders Andersson hade eld i sin tjärdal"
Subtitle:en analys av Jonas Åströms dagböcker 1868-1891
Authors:Sandberg, Lena
Series:Kulturens frontlinjer
Volume/Sequential designation:26
Year of Publication:2000
Level and depth descriptor:Other
Student's programme affiliation:1140A Master of Science in Forestry, 300.0hp
Supervising department:(S) > Dept. of Forest Ecology and Management
Keywords:skogshistoria, bondedagbok, Vindeln, tjärbränning
Permanent URL:
Subject. Use of subject categories until 2023-04-30.:History
Deposited On:19 Sep 2017 08:46
Metadata Last Modified:19 Sep 2017 08:46

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