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forgotten books

Discussion in 'Books, Videos, and the Like' started by Craig Johnson, Jan 11, 2018.

  1. Craig Johnson

    Craig Johnson Lifetime member

    I am spending a little time in Florida this winter and so was perusing a book that my wife had picked up at a yard sale "Florida By Pack And Paddle" Printed 1979. In it it referenced Hugh Willoughby as the first white man to cross the Everglades in a canoe in 1897. A quick search led me to the "Forgotten Books" web site where I found the book he wrote chronicling his trip "Across the Everglades, a canoe journey of exploration"
    I enjoyed the book, particularly the chapter about choosing what gear to take on the trip. It is interesting to see what technology was available in those early days of canoe manufacturing. Here is an excerpt on his canoe selection. It would be interesting to know who the builder was.

    Across the Everglades have to make some long portages, I decided that a lighter canoe would be more serviceable. I entered into correspondence with one of our best canoe -builders, who had been my personal friend in the early days of the American Canoe Association, and gave him an order to build me two canoes. Having spent so much time in the Maine woods, and frequently noted over what shoal water the Canadian model could travel with a good load, and that the light frame and planking, covered with canvas, could be readily mended in case of accident, I accord ingly gave my order .for this model, the first canoe to be sixteen feet long and thirty inches beam, to be called “Coacochee; the second fourteen feet long and thirty inches beam, to be called “Hissee.” One of these boats, the Hissee, was sent to my home in Newport, that I might experiment with her and add all those little extra arrangements so dear to the heart of a canoeist. The “Coacochee was sent direct to St. Augustine, where the Hissee” joined her a little later. A single sail was given each canoe (the Bailey rig), with forty square feet in each

    There are several photographs of the canoes but they are poorly reproduced. A photo on page 112 gives a good view of the inside of the canoe where you can see narrow ribs about 6 to 10 inches apart with planking that looks about 4" Other photos show decks,profiles, and outside stems.The book is available on line so the experts can have a look and see what they think.
    Anyway the reason I posted this is that I searched the word " canoes" on their site and came up with a large list if interesting books. Here is a link. Others may be familiar with this site but it was new to me.
  2. Benson Gray

    Benson Gray Canoe History Enthusiast Staff Member

    Last edited: Jan 11, 2018
  3. Andre Cloutier

    Andre Cloutier Firestarter. Wicked Firestarter.

    Im not familiar with the details of the book, and have little time to read it currently, but is that some sort of bicycle wheel rigged as a paddle wheel? not sure what im seeing, but what mention is there if the apparatus?
  4. Benson Gray

    Benson Gray Canoe History Enthusiast Staff Member

    From pages 56 and 57:

    "One thing that greatly troubled me was how to obtain my distance travelled with any accuracy. Chaining was proved by the two former expeditions to be out of the question, and it certainly was necessary to have something to work up the dead reckoning by, and know as nearly as possible the distance covered by the canoe. I had often used my bicycle to measure the miles between the house and the post-office, or the number of yards across a patch of lawn, and found that the cyclometer would measure within ten yards very accurately, so why could not some arrangement of the wheel be used on water and through the grass ? No arrangement of any kind of log used at sea would be practicable, so I obtained an old twenty-eight-inch front wheel and a front fork which came from a thirty-inch bicycle ; to this I added a new cyclometer and pneumatic tire, and a band of paddles that buckled on the de-inflated tire, which by using the air-pump made a very rigid paddle-wheel. I then fitted a stick that lashed to either side of the canoe, keeping the wheel in a vertical position. After repeated experiments with this machine I found that the slip was very constant, and that trailing behind a boat I could get good measurement, at even a slow rate of speed."
  5. OP
    Craig Johnson

    Craig Johnson Lifetime member

    Thanks Benson. I am glad to have a hard copy but being able to go back and see the photos better was a big help. Were you already familiar with the book. If not how did you find the description of the cyclometer so fast? Another interesting segment was when he dove in and split his forehead and nose open and had his companion sew it up to be able to continue.
  6. Benson Gray

    Benson Gray Canoe History Enthusiast Staff Member

    I was not familiar with the book prior to your message being posted but have spent a fair amount of time searching for (and in) similar books. I recognized the wheel as being from a bicycle so a quick search for that term took me right to the correct pages.

  7. OP
    Craig Johnson

    Craig Johnson Lifetime member

    It is great to have someone with your skills in our organization.
    Rob Stevens likes this.

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