Wood Utilization Laboratory

In 1897 the Board of Regents authorized the Committee on Buildings and Grounds "to procure plans for enlarging the steam heating plant at the Hospitals so as to provide a dining room, laundry, and dormitories for the nurses in the Training School, at a cost not exceeding $10,000." The building, which was situated north of the other hospital buildings on Catherine Street, was used for this purpose for a number of years. A section of it was used for twenty years (1897-1917) as a laundry; later, the building became a clinical laboratory. Eventually, however, when the old hospitals were connected with the central heating plant of the University, this heating and power plant was abandoned, and in 1928 it was decided to remodel the west side of it as a wood utilization laboratory for the use of the School of Forestry and Conservation (R.P., 1926-29, p. 442). The sum of $8,300 was set aside for special repairs and alterations.

These changes included installation of a lumber-drying kiln provided with the necessary instruments and apparatus, a fully equipped wood-preserving plant designed to operate at pressures up to 200 pounds to the square inch, additional machinery and equipment for study of the mechanical and physical properties of woods and of the bonding of wood with adhesives, and improved facilities for the study of the structure of woods, with special reference to properties and industrial uses. The floor area occupied by the kiln and wood-preserving plant is approximately 40 by 70 feet, and there is ample working space around the units.

Sources: The University of Michigan: An Encyclopedic Survey; Walter A. Donnelly, Wilfred B. Shaw, and Ruth W. Gjelsness, editors; Ann Arbor : University of Michigan Press, 1958