Early Old Town serial number estimate

Benson Gray

Canoe History Enthusiast
Staff member
Discussions about early Old Town serial numbers often lead to questions about when did they start and what number did the series begin with? The short answer is that nobody knows. Kennebec started with number 1001 and Joe Seliga started at 100.

However, a comment from Jim Clearwater's video in the WCHA site on YouTube.com gave me an idea for a way to estimate this. The series of Old Town build record cards appears to start in October of 1905 but many of the earliest build records also have an earlier "Built" date listed. See https://www.wcha.org/forums/index.php?attachments/434/ for the oldest example. I loaded the first 100 records with this notation into a spreadsheet and created the regression estimate shown below. The first reference to this "new" canoe company in a local newspaper is shown at https://www.wcha.org/forums/index.php?threads/9315/page-2#post-62144 from October 13th, 1900. This chart indicates they may have started around serial number 50 on that date. The margin for error in this is huge but it gives a place to start.


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