Creosote Council Blog

The Bethell Process: The Foundation of the Modern Wood Preservation Industry

The Bethell Process: The Foundation of the Modern Wood Preservation Industry

How did the French Revolution, the Napoleonic Wars, and Britain’s Industrial Revolution bring about the need for creosote-treated wood for modern infrastructure? Industrial-era wood treatment began with numerous innovations in Great Britain and took on its modern form as the American economy burst on the scene at the turn of the 20th century. Early Wood Treatment: France vs Britain (1700s – Early 1800s) One of the earliest practical applications of preserving wood was recorded in 1705 when a...

read more
The Origins of Las Vegas and Creosote-Treated Wood Go Hand in Hand

The Origins of Las Vegas and Creosote-Treated Wood Go Hand in Hand

How did the City of Las Vegas get its start? Certainly with the help of railroad crossties that could withstand the extreme conditions of the Mojave Desert due to treatment with creosote. It's a fascinating story that began at least 125 years ago. To learn the full story, read our article: How Creosote Fueled America’s Western Development and the Birth of Las Vegas

read more
Without Creosote-Treated Wood, Where Would the Southwest Be?

Without Creosote-Treated Wood, Where Would the Southwest Be?

How Creosote Fueled America's Western Development and the Birth of Las Vegas Background: Railroads and the Developing West Located just south of modern-day Los Angeles, the San Pedro harbor is emblematic of the Spanish missionary history of the United States’ west coast. In the early 19th century, Spanish monks from Mission San Gabriel Arcángel accepted provisions from Spain at San Pedro, although trade with other countries was prohibited. When restrictions ended in 1822, a surge of settlement...

read more
Railway Tie Association Appoints Dr. Nathan Irby as Executive Director

Railway Tie Association Appoints Dr. Nathan Irby as Executive Director

The Railway Tie Association (RTA) recently announced that Nathan (Nate) Irby, Ph.D. has been appointed as its new executive director. The RTA was organized 102 years ago to promote the economical and environmentally sound use of wood crossties. Dr. Irby has most recently field managed the strategic sourcing wood tie program for Union Pacific, the nation’s largest Class 1 railroad. He has also served as an adjunct professor with Mississippi State University’s Sustainable Bioproducts program....

read more
FAQ Video: Preserving Wood Infrastructure with Creosote

FAQ Video: Preserving Wood Infrastructure with Creosote

Creosote has been a dependable preservative of wood infrastructure since the Industrial Revolution. Creosote-treated wood is used in many infrastructure sectors, including transportation, communications, energy, and maritime developments. Despite this widespread use, the use of creosote as a preservative raises many questions. This video addressed the most frequently asked questions about creosote treatment, use, and benefits: How long has creosote been used as a wood preservative? How is...

read more