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.Creating a Great Dating Profile on Our What to do When You, Me and the Ex Makes Three?
In the 1960s they began using Ipe, and Atlantic City followed suit.
Ipe ain't cheap—also called Brazilian Walnut, the stuff has to be shipped in from Central or South America—while chemically-treated Southern Yellow Pine was easily available and relatively affordable. Because boards made from Southern Yellow Pine needed to be replaced every ten years, bringing with it high maintenance costs.
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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.
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.
The stuff was also pricey because it had to be shipped in from the Pacific Northwest, but it was easier to get than Atlantic White Cedar; and being a rainforest wood, it dealt well with moisture.
The rise of pesticides changed the wood game after World War II.
Pricey but hard-wearing Ipe was reckoned to last for 25 years.