Steel stem bands


I'm recanvassing a 16' canoe, the seller of which believed it to be a Canadian Canoe Company product circa 1930, as the family he acquired it from had owned it since then. The serial number is not much help in dating, although the additional number '50' suggests it is indeed a CCC canoe. The stem bands had been painted, and today when I started to remove the paint it appears that they are made of steel. Does anyone know if CCC used steel stem bands? I have no reason to doubt that they are the original bands, as there is no evidence of earlier screw holes in the stems. If steel was used due to a shortage of brass, I'm thinking it's possible this canoe was built during or shortly after WWI. The heart-shaped decks also point towards a pre-1921 Chestnut influence, which would be consistent with a circa WWI date. Anyway, just something to ponder as I procrastinate about canvas filling during this gorgeous west coast summer.
It seems to me steel fastenings and stembands were an option on many early canoes and boats, for those who wanted to save a few dollars.
Our family cottage has a Peterborough rowing skiff acquired used in 1929 that has "iron" stembands - but the metal available then for this purpose was much more rust resistant and any modern steels, excepting stainless.
Thanks for the response. I was surprised at the quality of the steel; even though the stem bands had been painted (twice it appears, once green and then red), there was virtually no corrosion even on the unpainted inner side of the bands. These were a bit rusty, possibly from hanging outside on a nail since April, but it was just a very thin surface oxidization. With a bit of stainless steel polish and some elbow grease, they should be as good as new. Definitely not 'modern' steel!
My 18' 1942 Old Town Guide has steel stem bands due to World War II metal shortages. Brass for cartridge casings was a higher wartime priority than canoe stem bands.

Mark Douglass
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