Page Brand oars

JClearwater

Wooden Canoes are in the Blood
I got a sweet deal on a pair of Page Brand 6 ft. spoon blade oars yesterday. There is the remains of a Page Brand decal on one of them. Does anyone know anything about the Page company? Where they are/were located etc. etc.? Thanks.

Jim C.
 
There is an undated "Page Brand" oar catalog on the Historic Wood Canoe and Boat Company Catalog Collection CD available from http://merchandise.wcha.org/ and http://www.dragonflycanoe.com/cdrom.htm on the web. It indicates that the company was established in 1843 and was also known as the New York Boat Oar Company, Inc. with the home office at 40 Rector Street in New York City and other locations shown on the page below.

Benson
 

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Thank you Benson. Attached are a couple pictures of the oars. The partial decal on one remains, the other only the shadow remains. The oars leathers struck me as odd. There is a button on both ends of the leather rather than just one end as is normally seen.

See you on Thursday.

Jim C.
 

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Benson, I have a catalog with the same cover, together with a letterhead note introducing it as the catalog for 1938. Ezekiel Page patented in 1842 (Pat. No. 2,643) a machine which sawed oars out of a slab with their blades overlapped at an angle like Venetian blinds, essentially doubling the number of oars that could be cut from a slab of wood, as compared to the previous practice of cutting them out of a square blank. He also patented a pattern lathe for turning the loom (Pat. No. 4,325) in 1846. Smithsonian Magazine (Aug. 23, 1873, pg 113) published his obituary, praising him as an "honest man" and one who would be "for ever honored by every loyal boatman" as the man who taught us how two make two oars where we previously could make only one. "The manufacture has been so perfected that little chance remains for improvement." (!)

"Page Brand" was the top of the line from the New York Boat Oar Company, followed by "Crescent", "Arrow" (made of Basswood), and "Mid-West" (painted grey or green with copper tips).

The Mead Gliders Company, of Chicago, included Page Brand oars and paddles with many of their finished "Ki-Yaks" and kits from about 1932 until production ceased ca. 1941. They produced more than 25,000 skin-on-frame "Ki-Yaks" in their ten year production run. (I've done a bit of research on Mead Gliders.)

Walt Peebles, Eaton Rapids, MI
 

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