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Early OT model canoe

Discussion in 'Scale and Miniature Canoe Models' started by Paul Miller, Aug 22, 2013.

  1. Paul Miller

    Paul Miller Canoe Nut

    I'm looking for some help from Benson on early build records.

    I have a closed gunwale model canoe with the early "genuine OLD TOWN CANOE CO. canoes" logo on it.

    It does not have a serial number anywhere in the canoe.

    I was hoping you might be the person that put together some chart on early model build records. Word is that they may have been assigned a serial number and have a build record but no number was put in or on the canoe. I'd like to save my eye ball strain by going though thousands of build records from 1915 to 1920 or so.

    This one may have been delivered to the U.P. of Michigan some time the Teens.

    Some pics attached.

    Thanks,

    Paul
     

    Attached Files:

  2. Benson Gray

    Benson Gray Canoe History Enthusiast Staff Member

    This looks like a nice one. Roger Young went through the build records (and eye ball strain) to create a summary of the display and sign canoes. However, the ones with serial numbers appear to be a small subset of the total. It seems likely that yours might not have ever had a serial number if you've not found anything yet. The thread (which you have probably seen already) at http://forums.wcha.org/showthread.php?10915 describes the struggle to identify the serial number on mine. I even found a build record but it doesn't have the shipping destination filled in. Mine originally came from a camp in Wisconsin on Lake Superior. My guess is that it originally shipped to Kennedy Arms in Minnesota since they were the closest Old Town dealer who was buying railroad cars full of canoes at that time but I will probably never know for sure. I'm sorry that I can't offer any more information about yours.

    Benson
     
    Last edited: Aug 23, 2013
  3. OP
    OP
    Paul Miller

    Paul Miller Canoe Nut

    Hi Benson,

    Any information helps.

    Do you have any idea of when they transitioned from the closed gunwale models to the open ones?

    Or was it based more on who made the model?

    Mine's 49" long and about 8 1/2" wide.

    Thanks,

    Paul
     
  4. Benson Gray

    Benson Gray Canoe History Enthusiast Staff Member

    Closed gunwales were listed in the catalogs as a full sized canoe option until 1929. The details of the models were based on who made them as you mentioned so it is not clear when they transitioned. Very few models have documented dates so there isn't much to go on. Roger Young's guess of 1915 to 1920 seems reasonable although yours might be a few years earlier. Your thwarts are shaped more like a full sized Old Town from 1915 than one from 1920. The 49 inch size is more like a 1920 model than many of the earlier ones that were often built on a 42 inch form. Yours is clearly after 1906 when that style of name plate was first introduced but before the 1920s when the "Trade Mark" notation was added. Not much additional information is available at this time,

    Benson
     
  5. OP
    OP
    Paul Miller

    Paul Miller Canoe Nut

    Thanks Benson, that does narrow it down a bit more.

    The family that previously owned the canoe built a cottage in the U.P. about 1923 and the oldest members always remember it hanging there.

    The canoe was acquired by the great grandson of Edward Biddle of Mackinac Island, MI. The Biddle homestead is part of Mackinac Island State Park. It is a Michigan Registered Site and a contributing resource to Mackinac Island's status as a National Historic Landmark.

    Always fun to put some history with a canoe, big or small.

    Thanks,

    Paul
     

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