Serial Number Search

Lew's Canoes

Canoe Builder
Looking at an old canoe in pretty rough shape. Serial Number is either 69353 or 69853. 17 foot for sure, open gunnel, keel, and 20" decks with coamings, probably CS grade. I think it is an OT, but let's see if the numbers match up. Thanks, Lew
The Old Town canoe with serial number 69353 is 16 feet long so that probably isn't yours. The one with 69853 may be the correct one since it is a 17 foot long, CS (Common Sense or middle) grade, Otca model with open spruce gunwales, birch decks, birch thwarts, birch seats, and a keel. It was built between February and April, 1922. The original exterior paint color was dark green. It was shipped on May 23rd, 1922 to Wilmington, Delaware. A scan of this build record can be found by following the link at the attached thumbnail image below.

This scan and several hundred thousand others were created with substantial grants from the Wooden Canoe Heritage Association (WCHA) and others as you probably know well. A description of the project to preserve these records is available at if you want more details. I hope that you will join or renew your membership to the WCHA so that services like this can continue. See to learn more about the WCHA and to join.

It is also possible that they could have another number or manufacturer if this description don't match the canoe. Feel free to reply here if you have any other questions. Good luck with the restoration,



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Thanks Benson - that sure looks like the match. Question: On the Build Record under color it seems to say "Dark Green / oil in Japan / packed" Can you translate the later part of this for me? Thanks, Lew
"oil in Japan" refers to a drying agent... and "packed" means the canoe was packed to be shipped.

Here's something I found on line about the Japan drying agent:

Japan Drier — Grumbacher Japan Drier is a reliable alkyd resin-based liquid siccative intended for use by sign painters, artisans, and craftspeople. Japan Drier is not generally recommended for fine arts applications because it has a tendency to yellow and darken oil colors over long periods of time. It is an ideal medium for oil gilding. Simply apply Japan Drier to an appropriate surface and allow it to dry to a high tack, then apply gold or silver leafing, smooth, and burnish.