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Not one I know anything about.

Discussion in 'Research and History' started by Canoeal, Aug 10, 2021.

  1. Canoeal

    Canoeal Canoe/kayak builder/resto

    Ok so the description will be long and detailed ( with plenty of pictures), as I have never seen one like it. First off blow off the idea it might be a one-off. The skill level of the builder says otherwise. Yes it is old like turn of last century old, maybe older.
    I is a maine guide style canoe; by this I mean no real curve to the gunnels other than what could be done without steaming. Here are some of the details: DSCN6445.JPG
    18'10" x 38 x 12.
    Closed gunnels. The top inside if the main inwale is beveled.
    Ribs are tapered in both directions, side to side and feathered to the gunnels. 2 14" wide, 38" thick, at center. Spaced 2" apart.
    The first rib, may be a cant rib, but it is 18" from the stem. Stem is typical square stem, and reaches to the rear of the stern seat.
    Quarter thwarts are square stock 1 5.8" x 5=3/4", center is 2" and has a carved spine on the bottom.
    Rear deck is 11 inches long and the inside end is only 2 1/2" wide. It appears to be made of three layers, all pinned together. The deck is raised higher then the inwales, apparently to sit flush with with the rail caps (missing).
    The rear seat is a 2 layer affair, with no holes, and the cane is an older wrapped cane pattern. (See picture)
    Front seat is missing, but apparently was fairly narrow, as the bolt holes are close together, like 6-7 ". The seat was bolted right under the seat. The bolts are steel which is no surprise, but the were round headed, and had ridges on the shaft. There were one in the ends of each seat cross, one in the end of the quarter thwarts, and 2 in each end of the center thwart.
    The planking is white cedar, less than 3" wide on the bottom and along the turn of the bilges. But the sheer plank is wide like 6" wide at the widest. Square edged.
    The boat once had a shoe keel with staggered screws every other rib.
    The bow of the boat was worked on (badly) so no help or even a deck there.
    The canoe club to which it belonged move to its current place in 1906 and it is believed the canoe was in the collection when they moved.
     

    Attached Files:

    Dave Wermuth likes this.
  2. OP
    OP
    Canoeal

    Canoeal Canoe/kayak builder/resto

    More pics.
     

    Attached Files:

  3. Benson Gray

    Benson Gray Canoe History Enthusiast Staff Member

    I don't recognize it immediately. There may be some closely spaced ribs near the end of the stem as shown at https://www.wcha.org/forums/index.php?attachments/44511/ which often indicates a canoe built by Joseph Ranco or one of the other builders from the Kennebunkport area. Did it have a bow seat and was it removable? The narrow ends are similar to the Gould shown at https://www.wcha.org/forums/index.php?threads/14786/ from 1898. The chart at https://www.wcha.org/forums/index.php?threads/17616/ indicates that there were about 25 shops building canoes before 1906 in Maine alone. Very few of these can be identified without a builder's tag. Please reply here if you ever figure this one out. Thanks,

    Benson
     
  4. OP
    OP
    Canoeal

    Canoeal Canoe/kayak builder/resto

    The ribs are definitely not closer in the ends, if anything they are farther apart. While the decks are similar to the Gould, the thwarts in that appear to be shaped. The reason I gave all the details, was to get a more exact answer. Yes, it had a bow seat, bolted in at the gunnels , as evidenced by the bolt holes and one bolt. Bolts would have been under the missing rail cap, so not removeable. I thought perhaps the center thwart with the spine down the center on the bottom may have been some clue. Also the layered deck, as I have not seen that before and it does look original. As described the seat was narrow. Bolt had ribs on the sides not a flange. Anyone who has an idea can call me at 610-326-9282. I hoped a New Englander may have seen something like this. I will post outside shots later to day, as I will get it out of the shop. Here is the bolt picture and some shots I took of it several years ago. Fortunately the canoe is well stored and the condition has not changed until now (restoration time).
     

    Attached Files:

  5. Michael Grace

    Michael Grace Lifetime Member

    Yes, based on ribs visible and especially tack lines in the exterior, it doesn’t look like there are any close ribs as in the old canoes from the Kennebunkport region. The wide spacing of ribs under the decks looks more akin to White.

    The stern seat is interesting. Any idea whether the cane (and it’s unusual pattern) is original? And do you know how the seat frame is constructed? The caning is reminiscent of (but not identical to) caning from some Maine and Boston builders, but the seat frame appears to be unique.

    Michael
     
  6. OP
    OP
    Canoeal

    Canoeal Canoe/kayak builder/resto

    I will take pictures of the seat after I get it out of the canoe. It is a two layer affair which seems odd. The cane is old, but I do not know that it is original. It may have once been woven with pounded ash.
    It reminds me of a very crude version of the seat from a Brodbeck, I did a few years ago. The UFO frame is all very square and the Brodbeck was very shaped.
     

    Attached Files:

  7. Michael Grace

    Michael Grace Lifetime Member

    Your Brodbeck seat looks just like the ones in mine (attached) except for narrower cane in groups of three. Same “shapely” frame but if I remember correctly, the short sides are made from rod. Very different from the seats in the mystery canoe. Even though those seats are somewhat similar to Brodbeck and others, not caned through holes, I’ve never seen one quite like it.

    Michael
    4971741D-EA81-47F4-96A8-07232FDBDCAA.jpeg
     
    Last edited: Aug 11, 2021
  8. OP
    OP
    Canoeal

    Canoeal Canoe/kayak builder/resto

    My cane supplier (local) says the seats I brought her (from the Brodbeck) were from an age where cane was not readily available to (for her) small furniture makers. many of the furniture guys used pounded ash like found in a pack basket. That may explain the two piece seat frames... not sure. Maybe a leftover from a bygone era. The wider cane is just me being me...:)
     
  9. Benson Gray

    Benson Gray Canoe History Enthusiast Staff Member

    This is not consistent with the article at https://houseappeal.wordpress.com/2...onal-patterns-of-distinction-the-caned-chair/ which says "Cane furniture first appeared in Holland, England and France during the 1600’s" and "cane bottom chairs are said to have reached the peak of popularity between 1860-1890."

    Benson
     
  10. Michael Grace

    Michael Grace Lifetime Member

    Maybe I’m missing something here but I kind of doubt that Al’s Brodbeck canoe seats were from the 1600s. ;)

    Brodbeck was building from perhaps 1898, and he died in 1930. The cane supplier may have been referring to difficulty of getting chair cane during war years (during the time of Fred Brodbeck).
     
    Last edited: Aug 12, 2021
  11. OP
    OP
    Canoeal

    Canoeal Canoe/kayak builder/resto

    I am not sure you should be quoting that article, as it has other generalizations like "By 1900, all American furniture manufacturers began using machine woven cane for chair bottoms in the full range of their furniture styles. It’s distinctive pattern of woven style has never left the interior world". Accordingly, there should be no machine caned , canoe seats, or maybe they should have been that way since 1900. So what is true in some world may not apply to canoes... Let me rephrase the answer above. As an expert in her field, and what I believe my cane supplier was saying is the seat frame and thus the caning style, came out of the pattern from old pounded ash seats. Whether Brodbeck, or the caner of this seat, ever used pounded ash is not the point, the style of canning they used came from that tradition. So why are why are you so focused on the cane, without any understanding of who built the canoe? I want to know more about the builder. With all the other details given, there should be some peculiarity, that make this builder identifiable...How many builders of 19'x 38" x 12", canoes were there, that would have been able to sell one to a tourist ?
    As to the age, how many boats built later, would have used over 6" wide white cedar planks for the sheer? I has a 1910 Carleton 16' that used narrow planking throughout the boat. And what about that spine underneath the center thwart (apparently meant to stiffen it)? The multi layered deck? I have never seen that before and have no ideas on that.
    I thought you guys, who seem to have more access to catalogs than I do, to would have started there.
     
    Last edited: Aug 12, 2021
  12. OP
    OP
    Canoeal

    Canoeal Canoe/kayak builder/resto

    This boat has been in The Red Dragon CC collection , apparently since they moved from Philadelphia, to the current Edgewater Park location in 1906.
     
  13. MGC

    MGC Scrapmaker

    Rushton canoes built well into the teens are known for the wide white cedar shear planks. I'm not suggesting this even remotely resembles a Northern NY boat. To my rookie eye, it screams White-ish.
    The caning is interesting in that it alternates rows of three each. My 1890's Gerrish had rows of two each.
     

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