In 1842, Michigan enacted a law, patterned after a 1692 English law, requiring log marks to be registered in the county where the logs were to be manufactured into lumber. When loggers sent their lumber downstream they needed to be able to prove ownership. The law was intended to prevent confusion and log piracy. Michigan's law engendered hundreds of marks. The marks originally were limited to straight lines and simple patterns which could be cut with an ax but they soon evolved from the mundane, to the creative and poetic.