C. P. Nutting canoe

smallboatshop

Restorers
Anyone out there ever had a Nutting canoe from Waltham, Mass.? We picked one up today that has been sitting in a barn here in Maine since 1947 when the owner's parents took it out and found themselves sinking as bits of canvas floated up around them from the underside of the canoe.

It has long decks and closed gunwales and a small brass plaque on the bow coaming: C. P. Nutting, Maker, Waltham, Mass.

Not much on the web beyond that this fellow "opened Nutting's Dance Hall at the canoe boathouse in 1914, where Prospect Street crosses the Charles River. The hall burned down in 1961; the pilings can still be seen in the river." Big bands and radio personalities performed there regularly.

Dan will post a photo later, but I was sent in to do the research while they got the canoe down off the truck rack for further inspection.

Linda
 
CP Nutting Boathouse Remains

There was a decent thread about Nutting before the big crash. Dick Persson indicated that the Waltham Museum had a Nutting. I stopped there one day to look, but it is a small operation and no one was there to let me in.

Benson posted a nice photo of the boathouse once.

Here's a photo of the remains of his boathouse/shop/dance hall.
 

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Not a whole lot known about Nutting. His canoes appear from time to time, and there is a known advertisement in the 1899 ACA yearbook.
 
I've got a Nutting and know of a few others. Have some onfo on the Nutting operation as well. These canoes are well made and have some very pretty little details that are unique to Nutting. Please feel free to email me to discuss. I love talking about Charles River-area canoes!

Michael
 
C.P. Nutting & Company
Waltham

According to “Waltham Rediscovered” he had 6-10 employees and manufactured about 150 canoes a year and kept about 50 to 75 boats and canoes for rental. He also owned a dance hall at the Prospect Street bridge. It is believed the company was established sometime mid to late 1890’s. Waltham Museum does have a C.P. Nutting canoe on display or at least did 5 or 6 years ago.

Cheers
Dick Persson
Headwater Wooden Boat Shop
 
Fitz said:
Benson posted a nice photo of the boathouse once.

Here is the Nutting boathouse postcard again along with a few of the other Charles River area canoe manufacturer's boathouses. The "I'd Like to Paddle..." and the "Public Boat House..." ones show Robertson's boathouse in the background under the bridge and the moonlight one is the Waltham Canoe Company boathouse. The Robertson factory is shown at http://www.wcha.org/catalogs/robertsn/factory.gif and now has new brick ends and a Newtron sign on it that is clearly visable from the Mass. Turnpike.

Benson
 

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Just getting started dismantling the Nutting and it seems that the canvas is original - no other tack holes in the stems. The outside stems were attached with steel screws and the canvas attached to the stems with steel tacks. It has been painted two or more times and the tip of the bow deck, top caps and side caps have been repaired.

If the steel fasteners are original and are due to war time shortages then this may have been made during WWI...?
 

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Of course, Dan- always planned to do so. Gotta dig out some materials, though. It is finals week, plus I'm working on two big grant proposals (DOD and NASA) and graduating 2 PhD and 1 MS student tomorrow! Whew!

Oh yeah, I also need to post some pics of a new Rushton boat for comments and feedback. Soon, I promise!

M
 
Did more work this AM - the seats had Masonite tops which revealed router grove with squared corners so dating would probably be late thirties as earliest. (I really have no idea when makers began using mat caning but I think that Benson once said that Old Town went to the mat cane in the late 30's when the minimum wage was introduced.)

The screws that were not visible in the finished canoe are steel, the visible screws like the coaming, deck and keel screws are brass.

Also the decks under the paint are mahogany as are the seats, thwarts, coaming and rail caps.
 
smallboatshop said:
Benson once said that Old Town went to the mat cane in the late 30's when the minimum wage was introduced.

Hand caned seats were replaced with the press caned alternative at the Old Town Canoe Company as a result of the introduction of minimum wage in the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938. World War One did not appear to have the same drastic effect on the canoe industry's use of bronze, copper, and brass as World War Two did.

Bill Conrad of Massachusetts, Mike Harmon of New Hamshire, and many others started a project in 2002 to collect more information about the Charles River canoe builders. Some of the information they found about Nutting is attached below. The first and second images appear to be from a book named "Waltham Rediscovered" on page 86. The third image is a very poor photocopy from page 18 of the "Daily Free Press Tribune" on June 18th, 1909. The fourth attachment is my best interpretation of what this last article really says.

Some other information indicates that Chas. P. Nutting died on January 30th, 1941 and that his shop closed around that time. There is a wealth of material to work with here if someone wants to pull it all together.

Benson
 

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Still a nice place to paddle

As a side note, the area of the Charles River near the Prospect Street Bridge in Waltham is still a nice area to dip a paddle. In fact, I know the water is substantially cleaner and safer than in the canoe era!

The Massachusetts Department of Recreation and Conservation (DCR) is putting the finishing touches on a River Walk that extends along the bank in this area. Within the last year or so, they also finished a new boat landing situated next to the location of the old Arnold operation on Woerd Avenue. The River Walk extends through the Arnold boathouse area.

The historic 9-acre Waltham Watch Co. factory remains on the bank and much of the area is still green because of several parks and a large cemetery (Mt. Feake). It is a rather good birding area.

The Charles from Route 128 to Waltham remains a great place to explore if you get a chance.
 
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Hey michael i have been told i have a nutting are you that firmiliar with the serial number mine says 17 3211 i was tring to get some history on it anyways any help would be appresated.here some pictures of it,
 
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Some more postcards of Nuttings on the Charles are attached below. He was better known for operating a dance hall than building canoes.

Benson
 

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I've got a Nutting and know of a few others. Have some onfo on the Nutting operation as well. These canoes are well made and have some very pretty little details that are unique to Nutting. Please feel free to email me to discuss. I love talking about Charles River-area canoes!

Michael
Hi mike would you know of anyone looking to buy and restore my c.p. Nutting canoe
 
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