How to determine age


Hey everyone. I am trying to determine the age of my Peterborough canoe. You can see my other post about info on it. I can't find any history on it. It was left to a guy named John when his friend died, and he neglected it for 25 years or so. Anything before that best guess. I read about serial numbers or something like that, but I don't know if Peterborough used those or where to find it on my canoe. I need some advice on the matter.
Let's back up a minute. How do you know it is a Peterborough canoe? How about some photos?

If it is a Peterborough, there will be a serial number stamped on it. It will be found in the inboard upper face of one of the stems. Sometimes it was also stamped on a metal tag that also indicated the model name. If the tag is gone you might be out of luck. Once you locate the serial number, there will be two parts to it. The first part is the model number. The second part is the serial number. If the model number is 2 or three digits, it was built prior to circa 1939/40. If it is 4 digits, it was built after circa 1939/40. Beyond that, there is no way to date Peterborough canoes based on the serial number. It is sometimes possible to narrow it down using catalog descriptions of construction details. For model number information, see and click on the link to Peterborough.

It has the Peterborough Insignia on the front deck, or triangular peice in the front-I'm not good with the vocabulary. I don't know what the stem is. Unless the number is not visible in plain sight, there is no number that I can find. The canoe is 16' long and 12" deep. About 33" at its widest point.
I HAVE FOUND A SERIAL NUMBER! It is pretty hard to read, but I could make out a 31 or 51 (like a three inch space) 3001.I started sanding a little bit and the wooddust was yellow, which makes me think that it could be a white cedar that was used? Any opinoins?
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Hello jvanleir,

The numbers 31 or 51 in combination with the #3001 do not make sense on a canvas covered canoe built by the Peterborough Canoe Co.

What is the rib size and spacing?

A couple of pictures would be helpful; a side view picture, a picture of the inside stem with the model/serial numbers, a picture of the deck with the logo, a view from above showing seats etc.

Dick Persson
Headwater Wooden Boat Shop
I am trying to post some pics of it but the page comes up 'unavailable' when I try to upload. The ribs are about 3" at widest and about 2' apart although some are a little closer together, like 1.5" or so. I checked for warping and twisting several times, lining it up and making sure it was level, but could find none. The ribs that are closer together are the same as the rest so no one replaced them or they were really good at reproducing them. All I have is the info I have already given you guys. The measurements are 16x12x33. The tacks used had flat heads, like the ones shown in Stelmok&Thrulows' book, which indicated an older make. I guess I can be satisfied with knowing it is vintage...