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Old Town "Our Order No."

Discussion in 'Research and History' started by dogbrain, Sep 14, 2020.

  1. dogbrain

    dogbrain I can take this, but not much more

    This question is for anybody who knows, but I suspect Benson has the answer. I have OT #96650 that I brought back from the grave a couple of years ago (original post). It is going to a new home, on display and hopefully used, in a local public space in Livingston, Montana. Here it is today:


    On the build sheet, under the "Our Order No.", there are a couple of numbers, one is scratched out. I am wondering if there is a way to see what was else was ordered by the camp at that time under that order number. I am doing some research on the history of the Campfire Girls Camp in Harriman State Park, NY, and the canoes sent there in 1928, which is the year I believe Campfire Girls took over the camp. I have a few pictures from 1933 of girls at the camp in a number of Old Town canoes and am curious about the likelihood that one of them is my canoe. They all look to be 16' from the pictures.


    My hunch is that the order number would tell me how many canoes and accessories were bought at that time, but I don't know if anything in the database is organized under the order number.

    Thanks, Mark
  2. Benson Gray

    Benson Gray Canoe History Enthusiast Staff Member

    The short answer is, not easily. The order and shipping information was hand written during that era so it does not work well with most optical character recognition (OCR) software. Old Town started to use typewriters for some of these details in the 1930s and that works reasonably well with OCR. The four canoes shown in the records below all shipped to camps in Arden between 1937 and 1962. They were easily located with OCR because Arden was typewritten and reasonably clear.

    121037.jpg 123943.jpg 145101.jpg 172086.jpg

    However, none of these are from the late 1920s like the canoe you have identified as shown at on the build record. Therefore, any search for canoes that shipped in that era would have to be manual. You can purchase a set of the records from if you wish to pursue this. I can suggest some image processing tools and techniques that will help if you plan to take this on.

    The significance of the crossed out order number is less clear. The messages at describe my manual analysis of a collection of crossed out order numbers from the early 1920s. There is no database of order numbers available. Let me know if you have other questions or if I can help in any way.

    Last edited: Sep 15, 2020
  3. OP

    dogbrain I can take this, but not much more

    Thanks for your response Benson. As much as I would like to buy the CD's and look through the thousands of records, I don't have the inclination to do that at this time. However, it is good to know that the information is there in the database, but that will have to be an effort made by a future owner of the canoe. Take care, Mark
  4. Ron Berry

    Ron Berry Curious about Wooden Canoes

    Thank you, Mark, for the very clear foto of your Old Town 16'. I have similar vintage 16' awaiting restoration, thought to be an Old Town, via family lore, however the medallion has gone missing. Your foto shows the decks which are identical to mine, and also has 2 thwarts as does mine. This gives me greater confidence in calling mine an OT.

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