A very interesting O T 'curiosity'

Roger Young

display sample collector
Here's a delightful little Old Town 'display sample' to puzzle over.

The first thing you will notice is the length - it is 42" long, not 48", and has all the characteristic building elements of a Carleton canoe model - deck cut-out shape, brass or copper strip holding rail ends together, crescent-shaped carrying thwart and original medium green color. It is not presently known whether there was "Carleton Canoe Co." lettering on its sides.

But, then, it was 'converted'. It was re-painted an O T red, with typical O T factory trade name block lettering along the sides, and early decals placed at the ends. That seems to be the way it left the factory. It later found its way to Quebec, and is currently in a private collection.

An interesting piece which just furthers our understanding that shapes or styles of canoe products were often 'interchangeable' at Old Town following its take-over of Carleton, in 1910. While the two 'brand name' lines were continued separately, there could be 'borrowing' between them when the necessity of filling orders dictated.

I have discussed this with Benson, including review of copious photos. Together, we have concluded that this model began life as a Carleton, then likely was 'done over' at the factory as an Old Town in order to satisfy customer demand for quick filling of a purchase order. Likely date of conversion and sale? - we estimate anywhere between 1915 and the early 1930's, but more likely nearer the earlier date than the latter.

An Old Town-Carleton 'hybrid', rather unique, and not quite like all the others. Posted here for the enjoyment and edification of canoe lovers everywhere.


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