Wood is a porous and fibrous structural tissue found in the stems and roots of trees and other woody plants. It is an organic material – a natural composite of cellulose fibers that are strong in tension and embedded in a matrix of lignin that resists compression. Wood is sometimes defined as only the secondary xylem in the stems of trees, or it is defined more broadly to include the same type of tissue elsewhere such as in the roots of trees or shrubs. In a living tree it performs a support function, enabling woody plants to grow large or to stand up by themselves, it conveys water and nutrients between the leaves, other growing tissues, the roots. Wood may refer to other plant materials with comparable properties, to material engineered from wood, or wood chips or fiber. Wood has been used for thousands of years for fuel, as a construction material, for making tools and weapons and paper. More it emerged as a feedstock for the production of purified cellulose and its derivatives, such as cellophane and cellulose acetate.

As of 2005, the growing stock of forests worldwide was about 434 billion cubic meters, 47% of, commercial. As an abundant, carbon-neutral renewable resource, woody materials have been of intense interest as a source of renewable energy. In 1991 3.5 billion cubic meters of wood were harvested. Dominant uses were for building construction. A 2011 discovery in the Canadian province of New Brunswick yielded the earliest known plants to have grown wood 395 to 400 million years ago. Wood can be dated by carbon dating and in some species by dendrochronology to determine when a wooden object was created. People have used wood for thousands of years for many purposes, including as a fuel or as a construction material for making houses, weapons, packaging and paper. Known constructions using wood date back ten thousand years. Buildings like the European Neolithic long house were made of wood. Recent use of wood has been enhanced by the addition of bronze into construction; the year-to-year variation in tree-ring widths and isotopic abundances gives clues to the prevailing climate at the time a tree was cut.

Wood, in the strict sense, is yielded by trees, which increase in diameter by the formation, between the existing wood and the inner bark, of new woody layers which envelop the entire stem, living branches, roots. This process is known as secondary growth; these cells go on to form thickened secondary cell walls, composed of cellulose and lignin. Where the differences between the four seasons are distinct, e.g. New Zealand, growth can occur in a discrete annual or seasonal pattern, leading to growth rings. If the distinctiveness between seasons is annual, these growth rings are referred to as annual rings. Where there is little seasonal difference growth rings are to be indistinct or absent. If the bark of the tree has been removed in a particular area, the rings will be deformed as the plant overgrows the scar. If there are differences within a growth ring the part of a growth ring nearest the center of the tree, formed early in the growing season when growth is rapid, is composed of wider elements.

It is lighter in color than that near the outer portion of the ring, is known as earlywood or springwood. The outer portion formed in the season is known as the latewood or summerwood. However, there are major differences, depending on the kind of wood. If a tree grows all its life in the open and the conditions of soil and site remain unchanged, it will make its most rapid growth in youth, decline; the annual rings of growth are for many years quite wide, but they become narrower and narrower. Since each succeeding ring is laid down on the outside of the wood formed, it follows that unless a tree materially increases its production of wood from year to year, the rings must become thinner as the trunk gets wider; as a tree reaches maturity its crown becomes more open and the annual wood production is lessened, thereby reducing still more the width of the growth rings. In the case of forest-grown trees so much depends upon the competition of the trees in their struggle for light and nourishment that periods of rapid and slow growth may alternate.

Some trees, such as southern oaks, maintain the same width of ring for hundreds of years. Upon the whole, however, as a tree gets larger in diameter the width of the growth rings decreases; as a tree grows, lower branches die, their bases may become overgrown and enclosed by subsequent layers of trunk wood, forming a type of imperfection known as a knot. The dead branch may not be attached to the trunk wood except at its base, can drop out after the tree has been sawn into boards. Knots affect the technical properties of the wood reducing the local strength and increasing the tendency for splitting along the wood grain, but may be exploited for visual effect. In a longitudinally sawn plank, a knot will appear as a circular "solid" piece of wood around which the grain of the rest of the wood "flows". Within a knot, the direction of the wood is up to 90 degrees different from the grain direction of the regular wood. In the tree a knot is either the base of a dormant bud. A knot is conical in shape with the inner tip

Antoine Odier

Antoine Odier was a French banker and politician. He was born in the Republic of Geneva but moved to France and was naturalized during the French Revolution, he was involved in the Indian cotton trade before founding a banking house in Paris during the Bourbon Restoration. He was politically liberal, supported the July Revolution of 1830 and opposed the seizure of power by Napoleon III in 1851, he favoured protectionist economic policies, led a lobby group to oppose lowering of tariffs. Antoine Odier's family, which originated in Dauphiné, was of the ancienne noblesse. An ancestor called Antoine Odier, took refuge in Geneva shortly before the end of the 16th century after the revocation of the Edict of Nantes; the Odiers became related by marriage with patrician families in Geneva, associated with leading merchants. Antoine Odier's father, Jacques-Antoine Odier, appears to have played an important role in Senn, Bidermann et Cie; this company had been established in 1781 with the purpose of manufacturing Indian cotton at Wesserling, Haut-Rhin, trading in painted canvasses in three export outlets.

When the other leaders of this company moved from Geneva in 1782 to France and Belgium, he was given power of attorney for their affairs in Geneva. Antoine Odier was born on 15 May 1766 in Geneva, he was the son of Jacques-Antoine Odier by Marie Cazenove. At a young age he entered the commercial house of Senn, Bidermann et Cie; some years before the French Revolution he was given charge of the Ostend outlet, which he transferred to Lorient in 1791 after the suppression of the monopoly of the Compagnie des Indes. Odier became a Frenchman under the law of 1790, which gives this status to the descendants of refugees, he supported the Girondins, was arrested in 1793. He was not released until the Thermidorian Reaction of 27 July 1794. After being released Odier moved to Ostend to look after the company's business to Hamburg, where he married Susanne Boué, like him a descendant of Protestant French refugees, his children were Henriette, Jacques-Antoine, who became a judge at the court of commerce, a regent of the Bank of France and a member of the Central Council of Reformed Churches, Edouard-Alexandre, who left commerce to become a painter, Alfred-Auguste, Charles-Philippe, Cécile and Jennny, who both died young and Edmond-Louis.

After returning to France he found that maritime commerce was ruined by the British Continental System. He devoted himself to developing the national industry, from this time forward the manufacture of painted canvas was successful. From 1795 Odier was one of the main directors of the company that took over the Wesserling Indian cotton manufacture under the name "Gros, Roman et Cie", which soon became "Gros, Odier et Cie". In 1803 Antoine Odier and his father were among the ten associates of the firm Gros, Davillier et Cie. Antoine Odier was involved in companies with his two brothers-in-law, with important merchants such as Jacques Bidermann of Winterthur. Odier's fortune and influence grew during the Bourbon Restoration, he founded a banking house in Paris. Odier's bank, established during the Bourbon Restoration, was part of the elite group known as the haute banque parisienne. Others established at this time were those of Dassier, d'Eichthal, Vernes and de Waru. Odier's bank survived just two generations.

He became a member of the Paris Commercial Court, president of that court. He was appointed a censor of the Bank of France, a member of the Supervisory Board of the Sinking Fund and of deposits and consignations, a member of the Superior Council of Commerce in 1819. During the Bourbon Restoration Odier sat in the Chamber of Deputies of the Departments from 24 November 1827 to 16 May 1830, he represented the Seine department as a member of the liberal opposition. During the July Revolution he voted for the Address of the 221, supported the government and supported the policies of Jacques Laffitte and Casimir Pierre Périer. During the July Monarchy he was elected to the Chamber of Deputies for the Seine as a member of the liberal opposition, holding office from 19 July 1830 to 31 May 1831. Odier became a general councilor of the Seine in 1831, he was reelected Deputy for the Seine for the government majority from 5 July 1831 to 25 May 1834, again from 21 June 1834 to 3 October 1837. The Association pour la défense du Travail.

The council included Auguste Mimerel, Joseph Périer and Louis-Martin Lebeuf. Members included Léon Talabot and Eugène Schneider. Odier was made a Peer of France on 3 October 1837, he was awarded the cross of the Legion of Honour in 1846. He sat with the government supporters until the French Revolution of 1848, he disagreed with the policies of Napoleon III, after the coup d'état of 2 December 1851 he refused to become a member of the Consultative Commission. Antoine Odier died on 19 August 1853 in Paris

John Hodges (minstrel)

John Hodges was an early blackface minstrel entertainer, who wrote or popularized the song Buffalo Gals, published by him in 1844 under the title'Lubly Fan'. There is some dispute as to whether he adapted a traditional air. Hodges's stage name was "Cool White", he debuted in Pennsylvania in 1838, at the Walnut Street Theatre and specialized in "dandy" roles: in 1842 he was a particular hit as a character called "Fancy Cool" in Silas S. Steele's Philadelphia Assurance. In 1843 he organized the Virginia Serenaders and a troupe called the Sable Melodists, he performed as a'Shakespearian clown' with Spalding and Rogers circus. From about 1855-59 he appeared with Sam Sanford's Minstrels in Philadelphia. In the 1860s and 1870s he appeared in New York. In 1879 he acted the straight role of Uncle Tom in a stage version of the famous anti-slavery melodrama. By 1887 White appears to have retired from performance, becoming stage manager for Hooley's Theatre in Chicago, he was instrumental in founding the Chicago Lodge, 3, of B. P. O. Elks.

He died in Chicago on April 23, 1891