Old Town serial number

normsims

Morris canoe fan
In Memoriam
I just bought an Old Town hull from an antiques dealer, and he suggested that I attend the WCHA annual meeting in New Hampshire next weekend. I checked and found it was this weekend. Oh well...

Can anyone give me any information about an Old Town canoe with the serial number 19780 16? I've written to Old Town, but they may take a while to respond. From looking at WCHA materials, it seems like this might be an old canoe. I cannot yet identify the model. It has some tumblehome and the stems do not rise dramatically. The beam is about 32 or 33 inches. Any help?

Thanks.
 
Old Town 19780 is a 16 foot CS (common sense, or middle) grade HW model canoe that was finished from December 1911 to April 1912. It has red Western cedar planking, closed spruce gunwales, ash decks, thwarts, and seat frames and a keel. Originally it was painted dark red. It was shipped to Abraham and Foss in Flint, Michigan. The ship-date was left off the build record, but it was probably shipped in April of 1912. It was shipped with two caned backrests.

Do these facts fit your canoe? An older canoe such as this may have undergone some modifications over the years. Old Town didn't use diamond head bolts to secure thwarts and seats until about 1920, so don't expect to see them. If this is the correct record for your canoe, the gunwales should be closed. If the details don't match your canoe, we can try again.

I'm not at my own computer and can't attach the scan from this computer as there's no program to convert the original TIFF file to something our website permits. I'll be able to post the scan tomorrow, but if anyone else with the build records wants to beat me to it, this record is scan #10251 on disk 2.

Sorry you missed the Assembly! Hope to meet you at next year's... and see your canoe.

Kathy
 
More on Old Town 16 footer

Kathryn,

Thanks for your quick response. The HW canoe you describe doesn't exactly fit. The gunwales are not closed. I've got a Bert Morris canoe built closer to 1920, and it has closed gunwales. This canoe has standard Old Town open or slotted gunwales. (Of course, closed gunwales rotted quickly, so they may have been modified, as you suggest.) Also, the ribs seem to taper just a tad toward the gunwales.

It's possible that I misread the serial number. What would be the details for this number: 19786. I don't have the hull here, but I wrote down both 19780 and 19786 as possible serial numbers.

Thanks!

Norm
 
Hi Norm-- 19786 is also an HW with closed gunwales--- it was shipped to Corpus Christi, Texas. While canoes have been known to travel great distances, most seem to stay in the general area to which they were originally shipped-- so that can be another clue. When you have a chance, check both stems of the canoe and compare the numbers... or take a picture with a digital camera and post here... digital photos often clarify things.

Now, about that Morris of yours--- is it already in our Morris database? If not, I'd like to include it... beginning with the serial number, if it has one. Here's an older post explaining the information we'd like to have:

http://forums.wcha.org/showthread.php?t=4639&highlight=morris+database

Kathy
 
Hi Norm-- 19786 is also an HW with closed gunwales--- it was shipped to Corpus Christi, Texas. While canoes have been known to travel great distances, most seem to stay in the general area to which they were originally shipped-- so that can be another clue. When you have a chance, check both stems of the canoe and compare the numbers... or take a picture with a digital camera and post here... digital photos often clarify things.

Now, about that Morris of yours--- is it already in our Morris database? If not, I'd like to include it... beginning with the serial number, if it has one. Here's an older post explaining the information we'd like to have:

http://forums.wcha.org/showthread.php?t=4639&highlight=morris+database

Kathy
Kathy,
I think my buddy Rick figured out that the canoe is not Old Town but Carleton. The serial numbers, 19780 or 19786, would date from 1927-29 or thereabouts. This would also explain the open slotted gunwales, the diamond-head bolts, the shape of the decks, and the carry thwart at the bow.

Do you have any serial number records for the Carleton canoes after Old Town purchased them? Thanks!

Norm
 
The Carleton canoe with serial number 19786 is 18 feet long so yours is probably the one with number 19780, This is a 16 foot long, CS (Common Sense or middle) grade, Carleton model with red western cedar planking, open spruce gunwales, birch decks, birch trim, and a keel. It was started in August, 1927. The original exterior paint color was dark green with a half inch gold stripe. This may have looked similar to the one at http://www.wcha.org/catalogs/old-town/designs/design43.gif which was known as the Old Town design number 43. It shipped on June 13th, 1928 to Rochester, New York. A scan of this build record can be found by following the link under the second thumbnail image attached below.

This scan and several hundred thousand others were created with substantial grants from the Wooden Canoe Heritage Association (WCHA) and others. A description of the project to preserve these records is available at http://www.wcha.org/ot_records/ if you want more details. I hope that you will join the WCHA so that services like this can continue. See http://www.wcha.org/wcha/ to learn more about the WCHA and http://www.wcha.org/join.php to join.

More information about this Carleton models can be found in the Carleton catalogs contained on the Historic Wood Canoe and Boat Company Catalog Collection CDs. Both of these are available from http://www.wcha.org/catalog/ and http://www.dragonflycanoe.com/cdrom.htm on the web.

It is also possible that you could have another number or manufacturer if this description doesn't match your canoe. Feel free to reply here if you have any other questions.

Benson
 

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