Compressive properties were determined for 65 standardized specimens of wet, unembalmed cortical bone from tibias of six men. Osteons were classified as dark, light or intermediate from their appearance in polarized light and as slightly, intermediately or markedly radiolucent from their appearance in microradiographs. Compressive strength had significant positive correlations with the percent of intermediate osteons or slightly radiolucent osteons in the cross section. Significant negative correlations occurred between compressive strength and percent of spaces. Compressive strain had a significant positive correlation with the percent of light osteons. Multiple correlation coefficients between compressive strength or strain and the various histologic and microradiographic variables were higher and more significant than that found with elastic modulus as the dependent variable. The significant positive correlation between compressive strength and the percent of osteons, regardless of their collagen fiber orientation in the cross-section, suggests that osteons tend to increase the compressive strength of bone.