Help identify a type of siding

I have a cabin that was built in the 1940's and re-sided in the 60's or 70's. The siding has an approx 8 inch coverage per sheet. It's a horizontal siding where each strip overlaps the one below it. Looks similar to the natural redwood siding used on many homes in the 50's.
The material appears similar to masonite. It's a type of hard compacted particles. The surface has been painted, I dont know if it came pre-finished or not.
This siding is mostly still in good condition, except the bottom board, which has weathered and has disintergrated on one side, plus there's a hole in one board from a fallen tree.
I'm looking to see if I can purchase a few replacement boards to repair the bad boards, and then repaint the whole cabin. For cost reasons, I dont want to reside the whole thing, not to mention that I find today's plastic siding repulsive, and there dont seem to be much else available other than metal ribbed steel, which would make it look like a barn. I doubt I'll find this stuff new, but maybe some demolition company will have some boards. The problem is that I dont know what this stuff is called, so it's hard to call places and ask them if they have it, when I dont have a name for it.
Anyone know what this is called?
Thanks in advance.
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On Sat, 14 Apr 2012 15:43:30 -0500, snipped-for-privacy@toyotamail.com wrote:

Sounds like "Masonite" siding. It's junk but if yours is really holding up, good for you. Most is completely coming apart in 10-15 years. "Plastic" siding (I assume you mean vinyl) isn't the only siding out there. Hardi (Hardiplank and Hardipanel) makes some really nice, low maintenance, stuff. You could probably use Hardiplank to repair, at least the bottom boards, of your siding. It probably isn't the same thickness so would really only work if the full bottom course is replaced.
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snipped-for-privacy@toyotamail.com wrote:

If it's about 1/8" thick, grey, and brittle, it may very well be asbestos. It was quite popular in the early '50's.
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wrote:

I know what that stuff is, but that stuff only came in short sections. I had to work with it a few times and needed to be drilled to pound in nails or it would shatter.
This stuff is more like 1/2" thick, and comes in long sheets. I dont know the original length, but the longest side of the cabin is 16 feet and some strips are the full length. It's not brittle like asbestos, and can be easily nailed. Its like masonite, the surface is smooth.
I removed one of the bad pieces yesterday. There is no name on the back or anything other than numbers. Those appear to be a date, and the year is 1969.
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On 4/15/2012 4:46 AM, snipped-for-privacy@toyotamail.com wrote:

W/O anything but a verbal description (like a picture :) ) we're guessing but likely was a hardboard siding (commonly called Masonite even if was another manufacturer) or a similar product.
There's a useful fact sheet for identifying Masonite products altho may not be of great help now that I think of it given the age; most is concerned w/ the lawsuit settlement from a lesser-quality product during the 80s rather than earlier, but it might be of some use. Go to www.asurelook.com and click on the "Masonite fact sheet" link on the left. It's got a lot of example types of multiple manufacturers.
Again w/o seeing the application it's hard to have too concrete suggestions, but if the bottom row is close to the ground and is getting water for that reason, I'd go w/ the other suggestion of Hardiplank or a similar cement-board product over replacing w/ hardboard.
If it's only a single row another alternative would be the plastic alternatives of Azek or similar that are now available.
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On 4/15/2012 8:38 AM, dpb wrote: ...

Specifically, replace the lowest level w/ a skirtboard.
<http://www.azek.com/azek-skirtboard/
Obviously, again w/o an elevation or picture to go on this may not suit but...
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On Sun, 15 Apr 2012 04:46:34 -0500, snipped-for-privacy@toyotamail.com wrote:

Can you take a picture or pictures and link to it here?
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wrote:

manufacturers of pre-finished, textured,tempered hardboard siding in the sixties. If they are "boards" - not 3 foot long or less "tiles" they are almost certainly NOT asbestos (Johns Manville)
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