The University of Wisconsin Press

Environment / Science & Technology / Business


Forest Products Laboratory, 1910–2010
Celebrating a Century of Accomplishments
Compiled and edited by John W. Koning Jr.

“A testament to the long-standing and innovative contributions of the Forest Products Laboratory to U.S. Forest Service research over these past 100 years. I am continually impressed with the depth and breadth of this research, and former assistant director Koning has done an excellent job compiling such a comprehensive work.”
—Tom Tidwell, Chief, USDA Forest Service

Founded in 1910, the Forest Products Laboratory was created as an interdisciplinary research facility to solve difficult problems important to sustainable forest management and to a diverse wood products industry. The laboratory—a federal facility located on the University of Wisconsin–Madison campus—conducts cutting-edge research that has transformed old industries and created new ones, including lumber production, corrugated containers, recycled paper, production of alcohol from wood, commercial cultivation of shiitake mushrooms, and hundreds of other businesses. This book illustrates what can be accomplished when the American public supports a federal laboratory that works in cooperation with universities, industries, and associations.

It includes:

  • concise summaries of 65 significant achievements of the Forest Products Laboratory, with citations to the original research reports

  • a comparison of wood utilization in 1910 and in 2010

  • examples of the financial impact of the wood products industry on job creation and on the American economy

  • color photographs throughout illustrating research initiatives and products, forest ecosystems, and the FPL facilities over the course of a century

  • three reprinted reports that provide in detail the history and impact of selected examples of FPL research

  • a list of many of the people who have worked at the FPL during its one-hundred-year history
The curious browser will find this inviting, colorful book full of surprising and remarkable information about the many ways that wood products affect daily life. Scientists, manufacturers, policymakers, and other experts will find it an extraordinary reference and history of significant accomplishments in forest products research.

John W. Koning Jr. joined the staff at the Forest Products Laboratory in 1961 and conducted research in paperboard packaging. Following retirement in 1986, he joined the Engineering Professional Development Department in the College of Engineering at the University of Wisconsin–Madison and worked with industry in developing educational courses. He has published articles on a range of subjects including research management and corrugated containers.

Media & bookseller inquiries regarding review copies, events, and interviews can be directed to the publicity department at or (608) 263-0734. (If you want to examine a book for possible course use, please see our Course Books page. If you want to examine a book for possible rights licensing, please see Rights & Permissions.)

The cover of the Forest Products cover is illustrated with a photo of their old. and new,new buildings.

March 2011

536 pp.   9 x 12  
Over 500 color and 300 b/w photos

For rights and permissions inquiries, contact

“No one knows the rich history of the Forest Products Laboratory as John Koning does. His efforts in compiling this all-inclusive book, from conception to final design, have been most impressive. FPL’s tradition of problem solving and dedication is inherent in this work. To see our progress in print like this, with so many wonderful photos and knowledgeable descriptions, is yet another historic event marking our centennial year.”
—Chris Risbrudt, Director, Forest Products Laboratory




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Updated 9/10/2014

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