Fatlighter For Sale, Bachlott

bachlott ga fatlighter firewood photograph copyright brian brown vanishing south georgia usa 2011

Our good friend, Jesse Bookhardt writes: Fat-lighter is still in demand as a good fire starter. The stuff was prized in history and when growing-up, I loved to smell it when collecting and splitting wood for the cook stove and fireplace. It burns with a black smoke and creates lots of creosote which can be dangerous in large amounts in stove pipes and fire stacks. We made corner fence post of it. It didn’t rot but wouldn’t always hold a nail well. Longleaf and Slash pines were chipped for turpentine boxes and the scared resinous wood surface was called a Cat Faces. When the tar dripped the face turned to lighter-wood. There are may names for the wood. In Northeast Alabama, the old timers call fat-lighter “rich wood.” Back in the 1950’s and perhaps earlier, chemical companies collected the old “Cat Faces” along with pine stumps that were basically fatwood. Their factories turned the stuff into a variety of products including explosives. Long live the culture and history of South Georgia.

2 thoughts on “Fatlighter For Sale, Bachlott

  1. Jesse Bookhardt

    Fat-lighter is still in demand as a good fire starter. The stuff was prized in history and when growing-up, I loved to smell it when collecting and splitting wood for the cook stove and fireplace. It burns with a black smoke and creates lots of creosote which can be dangerous in large amounts in stove pipes and fire stacks. We made corner fence post of it. It didn’t rot but wouldn’t always hold a nail well. Longleaf and Slash pines were chipped for turpentine boxes and the scared resinous wood surface was called a Cat Faces. When the tar dripped the face turned to lighter-wood. There are may names for the wood. In Northeast Alabama, the old timers call fat-lighter “rich wood.” Back in the 1950’s and perhaps earlier, chemical companies collected the old “Cat Faces” along with pine stumps that were basically fatwood. Their factories turned the stuff into a variety of products including explosives. Long live the culture and history of South Georgia.

    Reply

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