canoe seat backrest?


Hello all,
I am building a small canoe for my wife and I am thinking
of adding a cane seat with a backrest. I wonder if the
backrest were L shaped it could be attached with a
brass piano hinge so that it would fold onto the seat
when not in use. I am thinking that the short horizontal
leg of the "L" would act as a stop to hold the seat in
position when upright. Does that sound reasonable?
Hi Harry,
My experiance with seat backs is yes this will work but if I may suggest re-enforcing the sides with a cable or light chain from forrard on the seat to high on the sides.This helps take some of the strain and reduces pull on the fittings which lead to failure at inconveniant moments.Most old seat backs that survive are a combination of these 2 systems.
Morris Canoe Chair

Here's a canoe chair probably dating from the teens. It has chains on the sides, and simple hinges of this type are still available today.


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I have a strip built 18' small square back for a motor..This canoe has two cane seats..below the seats are two oposing "L" shaped wooden brackets that extend out the rear of the seat the thickness of the back rest..You simpy remove the back rest from under the seat and fit it into the extended brackets behind the seat...It is sturdy,simple, effective and does give the back support when needed. Unfortunately, it is outside and covered for the winter. If you havent gotten to that point in the spring, remind me on here and I will take measurements and pics and forward them /B]
Morris Chair


I was wondering, how do you know that is a Morris chair? My tripping bud has one exactly like it (very durable - stands up to kids, dogs, long woods trips in Maine etc.). It is not marked. I have suspected it may be a Morris chair, but only based on a catalogue image or something.

Fitz said:

I was wondering, how do you know that is a Morris chair?


Hey Fitz, that style of chair is shown in both Morris and Kennebec catalogs. so, could be either. I don't recall them shown in anyone else's catalog, but they may have.

I took measurements and made tracings of the chair Kathy posted the photo of. I sent them to WCHA member Ted Michel If you would like I can see if he could forward copies to you. It is Mahogany.
Peace, Denis
through the ebay queue now that looks appealing; it would fit
the style of canoe I am building well. I have plenty of ash.

search on: 170189143874 and it will pop up.
Bet that would give one waffle butt :D

Are such chairs free standing, not tied to the
Canoe chairs such as the Morris/Kennebec one I posted on above and the snowshoe-type are free-standing and may be taken indoors, to be used as extra seating for those with short or disfigured limbs, or switched from canoe to canoe.
Morris and Kennebec

Posted below is an example of identical canoe accessories sold by the BN Morris Company and the Kennebec Company. Catalogs show this backrest in maple and mahogany. The mahogany backrest below came out of a Morris canoe, and the maple backrest has an intact Kennebec decal.

Morris may also have used decals or stickers on canoe accessories. It's certainly nice to know that there are folks who will leave a decal alone. (Personally, I'm guilty of having carefully removed the buttons from the ears of all my little Steiff friends... decal-removal would have been a piece of cake.)


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used as extra seating

That was what I always wondered.I use them around the campfire or for air drying my soggy shorts and sox after slipping on a rock whilst stepping ashore.Never thought to use them to expand my field of friends or seating small children within reach of the dog.