Morris 14373

Fitz

Wooden Canoes are in the Blood
In Memoriam
This canoe showed up on Ebay last week and in a moment of weakness I bid the low bid and then had some explaining to do to the wife. Good thing the canoe shop (garage) has a good roof....:rolleyes:

Anyway, I picked it up today down in Falmouth. The seller was a great guy and has a yard full of nautical stuff. You may see a nice set of leeboards and a nice rudder on ebay in the future.

The canoe turned out to be in very good shape and has been stored very well for many years. The canvas is original but is disintegrating. I think the fancy paint job was original, and someone painted the whole canoe red later on. It will take some paint forensics to figure out the original colors, but it looks like the body of the canoe was blue or green and the band may have been light blue or white and the triangles a dark blue, but it deserves a closer look.

I couldn't see the decal when it was dry, but we had a shower on the way home and it brought out the remains of the decal.

It is missing a center thwart, that needs to be replaced because the canoe is slightly out of shape in the mid-section. If someone could provide the length of a center thwart for a 17 foot Morris, I will stick a temporary thwart in there until I can fabricate one. There is a wing nut and some fancy hardware on the center thwart hanger.

Well, anything more you can tell me based on the serial number would be great. I look forward to sprucing this one up.
 

Attachments

  • DecalEdit.jpg
    DecalEdit.jpg
    758.7 KB · Views: 436
  • FancyHardware.jpg
    FancyHardware.jpg
    223.3 KB · Views: 440
  • MorrisBow.jpg
    MorrisBow.jpg
    749.8 KB · Views: 430
  • MorrislengthEdit.jpg
    MorrislengthEdit.jpg
    684.2 KB · Views: 419
  • Morris.jpg
    Morris.jpg
    26.2 KB · Views: 440
Nice buy. I'll measure up my center for you tomorrow. Those wing nuts! Sweet.
 
nice nuts

Now I'm jealous, those were missing along with my centre thwart. Anxiously awaiting measurements.....
 
Thanks

Thanks MGC.

The canoe is in great shape. I can't find any rot, broken ribs or planking. I think someone just misplaced the thwart after courting the girl one day.

Andre, there is a typical wingnut on one side and the fancy hardware on the other side so I'm not sure which is original or which nut was lost first.:eek:

Oh, well.:cool:
 
Let me know if you ever meet someone that owns one of these that was not missing the center thwart when they found it. There is probably a place somewhere where moose and elk dump their horns and a pile of Morris center thwarts nearby.
 
Congratulations, Fitz!

Glad you got that canoe!

There'll be another "Morris update" in the August issue of Wooden Canoe... which is now *this month*... so, any day now...

The article is based on the patterns we're seeing in the database canoes. And, while it seems Morris canoes were numbered sequentially, nothing that has entered the database has shaken the notion of "adding two" to the first two numbers of a 5-digit serial number, or the first number of a 4-digit, to provide a birth-year.

It's great to see a canoe with the shadow of a fancy paint job. The decal probably has the wording "Canvas Paddling and Motor" on one line, which replaced "Canvas Paddling and Rowing", which is on earlier Morris canoes.

Morris 14383 (ten higher than yours) is the next one up from yours in the database. You may recall it was listed for sale in the WCHA classifieds and there were 46 pictures of it on a website... probably still there... yup, here it is... your canoe may have spent some time in the factory with this one:
http://www.cs.yale.edu/homes/dkg6/MorrisCanoe/

I like to think the fancy bit of hardware is original... very sweet.

Kathy
 
Kathy,

I see this is a closed gunwale, and a non-heart deck shape, were there features common throughout the Morris build?

Just curious as my is open rails and heard decks, with a 13050 S/N.

And congrat's Fitz, that is a very nice looking canoe.

Dan
 
Closed gunwales were standard with Morris canoes-- open gunwales were an extra cost, even though they were probably easier to create. Although open wales had been around since 1905 or so (as I recall), some builders gave the public more time to get used to them.

The deck style used on Fitz's Morris became the more commonly used short deck, as the second decade of the 20th Century marched on. Because it's clearly shown on the Tuscarora model, some folks think any Morris with that deck style is a Tuscarora... but I believe there are only two Tuscaroras in the database and there are lots of canoes with that deck style, which I call the concave curve. The last canoe to have the heart, in our database, is 14108.

The concave curve shows up for the first time on Morris' Veazie Canoe Company line, which was the Morris-version of CS grade. When it first appeared on the Veazie canoes, there was a circular area removed from the middle-- giving the deck its "keyhole" appearance. At some point they stopped removing that circle. The later Veazies have a concave curve deck (we took a Veazie with that deck style to Assembly this year) and they begin showing up on "regular" B.N. Morris canoes in the 11XXX series.

The heart was still used... but if you look at the later catalogs, it seems to be used mostly on the model B. My guess is that the heart sometimes cracked up the center. The short deck on a model B is a little wider, so maybe this didn't happen as often. The concave curve may have seemed more practical, not only because it didn't crack where the heart did, but because it felt good in the hand, as you pull the canoe out of the water.

We think of Morris canoes as having heart shaped decks, but Morris may have been phasing them out. We also think of Gerrish canoes as having heart shaped decks, yet we have a late Gerrish with a simple curve, nicely undercut and feeling good to the hand... no coaming, as is seen in the Gerrish catalog on CD.

One reason for gathering data on existing canoes is to look at changes like this.
 
there is a typical wingnut on one side

"there is a typical wingnut on one side"

Fitz -- I am curious what your "typical" wing nut looks like. When I got Morris 6466 (18'), I had the two permanently mounted thwarts, but was missing the removeable center thwart. There were only a few detached pieces of the gunwales, along with a handfull of hardware, some original, and some ??, including a few thwart hanger bolts, some of which had square stove-bolt nuts on them, but two of which had wing nuts, of a shape I have not seen elsewhere. The bolts were brass, and the nuts were (rusted) steel. I'm quite sure the hanger bolts are original, but am not sure at all about any of the nuts, including the wing nuts. I'm attaching pics of a hanger bolt and a wing nut.

Greg
 

Attachments

  • 100_1918.JPG
    100_1918.JPG
    934.4 KB · Views: 382
  • 100_1921.JPG
    100_1921.JPG
    764.5 KB · Views: 384
Kathryn Klos said:
Glad you got that canoe!

There'll be another "Morris update" in the August issue of Wooden Canoe... which is now *this month*... so, any day now...

The article is based on the patterns we're seeing in the database canoes. And, while it seems Morris canoes were numbered sequentially, nothing that has entered the database has shaken the notion of "adding two" to the first two numbers of a 5-digit serial number, or the first number of a 4-digit, to provide a birth-year.

It's great to see a canoe with the shadow of a fancy paint job. The decal probably has the wording "Canvas Paddling and Motor" on one line, which replaced "Canvas Paddling and Rowing", which is on earlier Morris canoes.

Morris 14383 (ten higher than yours) is the next one up from yours in the database. You may recall it was listed for sale in the WCHA classifieds and there were 46 pictures of it on a website... probably still there... yup, here it is... your canoe may have spent some time in the factory with this one:
http://www.cs.yale.edu/homes/dkg6/MorrisCanoe/

I like to think the fancy bit of hardware is original... very sweet.

Kathy

Katherine,

What year did they add the "MOTOR" note to the deck decal? That would help date my boat on the low end at least...
 
Decal Change

Canoez--Canoe 9240 has the old style decal ("paddling") and 13809 has the newer ("motor") one. In the catalog collection on CD, the motor canoe shows up for the first time in the undated-but-presumed-1910. So, at this point, the best we can do regarding the decals is to say "motor" is seen in the second decade of the 20th Century... the change probably happening toward the 1910-side of the decade.

Greg-- Our Morris canoes are missing the middle thwart too, so this information is a good thing to nail down here, for posterity.

Kathy
 
The Morris that I have seems to be the 17' with the spruce out'l and gunn'l cap but the mahogany decks. I do happen to have the center thwart in the canoe if information about it is helpful to anyone.

I've got to get the thing down from where it hangs in the garage to get some good pictures (and the S/N) to send along.
 
I meant "rowing"...

As I was driving in to work, it struck me that I'd said the more recent Morris decal said "motor" instead of "paddling"... actually it says "motor" instead of "rowing". I guess oars went out of style...

Looking forward to pictures of your canoe, Canoez... and will add the info to the database.
 
Wing nuts

Greg:

I have been meaning to reply properly, but have been busy tripping and drying out gear.

My recollection is that the other wing nut is a typical modern looking wing nut and not like yours in the photos. I will shoot a photo when I can. Also, thinking about that fancy hardware in the picture above, I suspect it would not have made a very good thwart holder and it may have been added later in a pinch. I will continue to investigate and shoot some more photos.

Weren't you tripping in Maine lately? What? No Report?:D

Fitz
 
the rain in maine

Fitz --

Not tripping in Maine, but just staying at our place in Dover-Foxcroft last week, and as you know, the rain in Maine does not stay mainly in the plain -- and it just keeps on coming everywhere. But here's the report anyway:

In spite of the rain, Deborah and I got out in the canoe twice for a few of the rare sunny hours, on the Piscataquis from the boat ramp in town, and on the Sebec, from Milo up to the rips that are about 1/2 mile below the Sebec dam. Pics attached of one of the four beaver lodges within 1/2 mile of the D-F ramp being guarded by a local fisherman, and of loons in training above Milo.

Also went to Jerry Stelmok's presentation at the Greenville Historical Society Thursday evening, part of Greenville's Forest Heritage Days event, and afterwards just missed an unhappy meeting with a young moose on the dark, rainy highway going home. And on Saturday, we went to the Katahdin Wooden Arts/Canoe Festival in Medway; rain had been predicted, but the day ended up being quite sunny. We saw Jerry again, flying the WCHA banner, and also met, among others, Dave Mussey, who was singing and playing the accordion, in addition to showing his canoes and Fran Doonan's baskets, and Benson Gray, who was doing his thing with his laptop full of OT build records, amazing people by giving them the history of their boats. Also paddled about in a 25' OT war canoe, and took a sight-seeing flight in a Piper Cub float plane.

So, not a bad week notwithstanding the rain.
 

Attachments

  • small Copy (2) of 100_0537.JPG
    small Copy (2) of 100_0537.JPG
    261.5 KB · Views: 382
  • small loon chicks-2 .JPG
    small loon chicks-2 .JPG
    270.3 KB · Views: 388
  • small cropped 100_0624.JPG
    small cropped 100_0624.JPG
    323.3 KB · Views: 396
  • small Copy of 100_0632.JPG
    small Copy of 100_0632.JPG
    187 KB · Views: 397
  • small mussey 102_7725.JPG
    small mussey 102_7725.JPG
    329 KB · Views: 379
  • small Copy of 100_0660.JPG
    small Copy of 100_0660.JPG
    145.4 KB · Views: 389
Back
Top