I was looking at an unusual original picture the other day. It seems to be mainly watercolour, possibly with some pen an dink drawing. A large picture, it's hard to capture properly in a photograph for here.
It shows an archaic method of clearing trees.
As the horse is driven forward the mechanical advantage, or leverage pulls on the chain with the objective of pulling down the second tree.
A Forest Devil is a device to pull down a tree by mechanical advantage, sometimes with a winch, as a method of clearing trees from land.
There is very little information available about a forest devil, and the picture you see above may be the only one showing a forest devil at work in existence.
Now, back to the picture above.
Here's a close up of the harnessed horse:
and here's the other end of the pole where it's chaned to the base of a tree:
You'll also see one worker quenching his thirst and another using a pick to hack into the base of another tree.
Here in the next closeup you can see the chain extending up to the tree which is to be pulled down:
In the field being cleared we can see many tree stumps, some apparently clear-sawn, others jagged from the effect of being pulled down with the Forest Devil.
It is also apparent that the Forest Devil was not an entirely efficent means of felling the trees, as there is also evidence of parts of trees and branches which have been pulled off, yet without pulling down the whole tree.
It's unclear at the moment, but the picture is thought to date from around 1860.
Anyway, just a bit of Australian rural history for you.