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02-Jan-2019 16:16

Choosing the material to build a boardwalk out of can be tricky.Never mind the amount of people traipsing over the thing; being located on the shore, it is subject to salt spray.And in a place with four seasons, the wood is subjected to brutally humid summers and freezing cold winters.So what did people make boardwalks out of, in the days before pressure-treated lumber?In the late 1800s Atlantic City put up the first large-scale public boardwalk in the United States.For material they used Atlantic White Cedar, conveniently harvested from New Jersey's nearby forests.Technically not a cedar at all, but a cypress, the tree grew well in wet areas and was naturally rot-resistant.

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By the 1950s Atlantic City had switched materials once again, this time going with chemically-treated Southern Yellow Pine.Relatively affordable, this is the same stuff that wooden roller coasters, like Coney Island's famous Cyclone, were made of.Speaking of Coney Island, we can assume they followed the same wood "diet" for their boardwalk erected in the 1920s, though we don't know for sure.What we do know for sure is that Coney Island's boardwalk, officially called the Riegelmann Boardwalk, was the first to switch over to a tropical rainforest wood.