Already at the end of the 19th century the various types of wood, especially the tropical woods that were newly entering the market, played a major role. Their identification and classification were a highly demanded scientific service provided by the museum. The Hamburg timber trade had a vital interest in a well-equipped comparative collection in the museum. During the Second World War the main part of the extensive wood collection (10,000 objects) was transferred to the then “Reichskolonialinstitut für Weltforstwirtschaft near Hamburg, today's Thuenen-Institut”. At present, this sub-collection still comprises about 1,500 objects.