New Morris #1950

Paul Miller

Canoe Nut

I just put a "new Morris" in the workshop tonight.

I have attached some poor pictures but they give some idea of the profile etc.

The canoe is 16' long and an oval serial number plate on the inwale showing "1950". The canoe has two sets of cant ribs and the canoe has been previously restored. The inwales were replaced but not rabbited. The rail caps for the top and outside were done fairly well and are of spruce. The decks look like Mahogany, but need to strip some vanish first. There are a number of broken ribs at the keel but not at the turn of the bilge so the shape is good. The attraction was the low number on the tag that was still intact.

The seat frames appear original, but I wonder about the thwarts as they are more slender than I've seen in any other Morris I have or have seen. The thwarts do resemble the shape of those in the early catalogs, but it's hard to compare features from a catalog.

I hope to post more pictures tomorrow.




  • 393.jpg
    538 KB · Views: 438
  • 393-1.jpg
    505.4 KB · Views: 430
  • 393-2.jpg
    444.3 KB · Views: 408

Great, Paul!

This is the closest in number to our only Morris paperwork-- the receipt for Morris 1876, which shipped 6-6-1903. Your canoe would be a Special Indian-- regular or extra beam.

I'll attach a pictures of #1148 (sponson canoe), which was posted here before, and #70, for thwart comparison. Maybe those with early Morrises can post dimensions.

How does this canoe compare with your Veazie?



  • Morris 1148 sponson.JPG
    Morris 1148 sponson.JPG
    375.7 KB · Views: 393
  • Morris 70 full.jpg
    Morris 70 full.jpg
    478 KB · Views: 409
I took some pictures but wasn't able to download them from the flash drive to my work computer.

The thwarts are only 1 3/4 inch, just a hair wider than the seat frames at 1 5/8 inch.

Even with the break in the inwale the canoe measures 32" so when fixed it should be under 31" and the canoe is about 11 1/2 deep.

The seats, thwarts and decks are Mahogany.

The thwarts are definitely narrower than any I've seen before including my Veazie.

The 1901 catalog pictures that Kathryn posted seem to show thwarts that are just a bit wider than the seat frames, but you would want more hard evidence.


Will post pictures later today.
I believe that the center thwart is original. I've seen this style before on older Morris canoes. I can't get a good enough look at the others to venture a guess. Gil
I have attached pictures of the body of the canoe, stem profile, tag and the thwart and seat.

In the last picture you will also notice the planking at the turn of the bilge is 4 1/2 inches wide; very wide and usually a sign of an older canoe. The only wider plank I've seen was the top plank on an Indian Girl.

I'd like to know if anyone has seen a Morris thwart as narrow at 1 3/4 inches.




  • 100_4832.jpg
    484 KB · Views: 383
  • 100_4840.jpg
    512 KB · Views: 388
  • 100_4839.jpg
    532.5 KB · Views: 387
  • 100_4838.jpg
    525.7 KB · Views: 411
yes. A 15' Morris that I rebuilt had a center thwart almost identical to the thwart in your canoe. Based on its recurve profile, it appeared to be an older Morris. There should be a photo of it on my website. Gil
Not much help but, that Morris that was in Spring Lake Park MN that sold on the bay had very narrow thwarts, such that I thought they had been replaced.

I don't have a good pic of it, maybe Kathy knows more about it. It didn't have a S/N or evidence of a plate that I could see, so it was likely old.

Thanks for the help guys,

It does seem we are building a consensus, but would still like corroborating evidence.

Gil, all of the pics on your site are difficult to see. It appears you have made some changes on your site or moved it. But I'll take your word on the 15 footer you restored. The thwarts I have do seem to be a scaled down version of the ones we recognize as Morris.

All's good,

Question for Gil on the 15 footer he restored/rebuilt

On that 15' Morris center thwart you referenced. Was the thwart in the midship location of this 15 footer and if so did it have , in your opinion ,an original Morris installed thwart bolt, you know ,one bent at 90 degrees at the top and mortised into the top of the inwale?
Reason I ask is, my recently acquired 15' Morris does not have a midship located thwart, only has one that is positioned way off center, towards the rear of the front seat. I am seriously considering installing a midship center thwart to enable ease of solo carrying my Morris and would like to know if this was an original ,optional offereing by Morris on his 15 foot models.

My desktop computer is undergoing dis-infection after being hijacked to China, but I know I have some pictures of older Morrises there. Norm Sims has what I believe is the oldest Morris in the database... no evidence of a s/n plate, and a very early decal with wording unlike other surviving decals on early Morris canoes.

Thwarts are described in one of the post-1905 catalogs as being 2 1/4" I believe... I don't have the catalog in front of me now but will double-check later... found it last night and wanted to go through some other stuff and now can't remember which catalog I saw it in.

When it comes to the catalogs in the collection on CD, bear in mind several were undated and the dates were placed on them according to information known at the time. It looks like the one originally labeled "1902" is actually 1905-6, because of several factors, including the fact that CJ Molitor is listed as an agent and he wasn't a Morris agent until 1905... and it seems Morris dropped the Special Indian name and went to Models A-D in about 1905.... and the Veazie came into existence then too.

I love it when a canoe is discovered that has some differences from what we usually see in a Morris. Would be nice to know if thwarts are slightly smaller on the Special Indian.

The thwart was close to the center of the canoe. The inwales had been replaced, and I don't remember what fasteners it had. The thwart might not have been exactly in the center, but was very close. Gil
planking wood species...

Is the planking red or white cedar?

We have an early (2 cant rib pr) Veazie and a 1905 (3 cant pr) Morris which are very much the same... identical planking pattern and sizes of thwarts, etc., but the Veazie has white cedar planking and the BN Morris has red (Denis says this is "true to the best of my knowledge"). It would be nice to be able to confirm that earlier Morris canoes have white cedar planking, and the later ones (like, after 1905 or so) have red.

Yes Kathy, I was wondering if my new canoe had white or red cedar planking, as white cedar big enough for planking was available at the turn of the century, or at least that's what I've heard.

I may have to peel the canvas off before I'll be able to have any ID of the planking material. I will mention again that some of the plank is 4 1/2 inches wide which I've never seen in any canoe. (except the top plank on the Indian Girl).

Just finished putting racks in my shipping container so I can get at any of 24 canoe at any time. I'll have to post a picture when more canoes get moved in.

Snow as in the air today,


Please include pics of the container and the rack layout.
I'm looking for ideas. I hope/plan to build a "shed" to store the fleet, maybe next summer. My current thought is 20x20 with 6ft wide racks on both sides and an access isle down the middle.

For some reason I thought that Morris used Atlantic white cedar for planking on some of his canoes. As I recall, the info came second-hand from the Chestnut Canoe Co. Does anybody else have any info on this, or did I dream it?? Gil