William English Paddles

Adam White

New Member
Hi,
I'm new to the forum. I inherited a pair of Wm English Canoe Co paddles from my grandfather. He raced canoes in the Muskoka area around 1912-1913. I have some old trophies from his racing days.

Please let me know what you think of the paddles. They are light weight and in good condition. It looks like they may have been reconditioned as there is some lacquer on one of the labels.

Would you use these paddles or should they be stored away safely?

We had his Sunnyside Cruiser, but unfortunately it was stolen in the early 80's...

Any input would be appreciated.

Adam.
 

Attachments

  • paddle1.jpg
    paddle1.jpg
    157.1 KB · Views: 817
  • paddle2.jpg
    paddle2.jpg
    212.5 KB · Views: 862
  • paddle3.jpg
    paddle3.jpg
    358.6 KB · Views: 809
  • paddles4.jpg
    paddles4.jpg
    482.3 KB · Views: 733
WOW. Beautiful pieces, and to have a family history is a bonus. Hang carefully on the wall and enjoy, buy some new ones to use if necessary. WOW.
 
Definitely put them on the wall. They look in beautiful shape for nearly 100-year old blades. It would be a crime to beat them up on rocks, sand, etc.

That said, if you should ever want to part with them, please let me know. I have a 1895 English 20, which was one of the company's premier racing canoes at the turn of the century, and would certainly welcome a set of contemporary paddles.
 
Beautiful paddles. Would you be willing to make and post some measurements and maybe a profile photo of the grip and blade?

Winter is coming soon and some of us with small shops need small shop projects...:D
 
The decals add much to the history, beauty, and value of these wonderful paddles.

I vote for the Shaw and Tenney "users" too! Or make some paddles using the old ones as a template. Do you know what wood species they are?

Kathy
 
Thank you for your replies.
These paddles will find a place on my living room wall.

I will post post some pictures of profiles and dimensions later.

Thank you,

Adam.
 
Definitely get replica's to use,I had a nice little 50 yr old chestnut paddle with stickers still on it and it broke on me on a river and I wasn't able to recover the blade section to try and reproduce it.

If someone has pics and measurements of this type of paddle they cold post that would be great
 
I had a nice little 50 yr old chestnut paddle with stickers still on it
If someone has pics and measurements of this type of paddle they cold post that would be great

Do you mean paddles like these?
I figure these are about that old.
I could measure them when I get back to the US in a few weeks.
I actually prefer my little Peterborough paddle to these. The Peterborough paddle is a similar shape but it is more nicely made and has a "rib" that runs down the center of the blade, eventually blending out about 1/3 of the way down.
Sorry, no pictures of that paddle here on my laptop and not great pictures of these.
 

Attachments

  • Chestnut Paddle.jpg
    Chestnut Paddle.jpg
    382.5 KB · Views: 644
  • Chestnut (8).jpg
    Chestnut (8).jpg
    285.4 KB · Views: 634
Actually i was wrong it was a peterborough,similar shape to the william english on the left but had the rib down the blade,sweet little paddle,but it snaped just below my lower hand.Was using it on a slow section of river and tried to get to a side channel,and just pulled too hard
 
I'd definitely put those paddles on a wall. They are far too nice to risk using. Shaw and Tenney can make replicas for you, should you be of a mind to do so.
 
Actually i was wrong it was a peterborough,similar shape to the william english on the left but had the rib down the blade,sweet little paddle,but it snaped just below my lower hand.Was using it on a slow section of river and tried to get to a side channel,and just pulled too hard

The nut paddles are really not anything too special but the Pborough paddle is sweet. It's one of my favorites.
My wife graciously allows it to live in the house. I do not use it for fear of breaking it.
Imagine using one of the William English paddles!

I will send you photo's and measurements when I return to the US.

This site is not BBerry friendly. This font is about 30 thousandth's of an inch tall.
 
Last edited:
Peterborough Paddle Dims and Pics

This is an attempt to provide you what you need to profile the blade.
If it's not adequate I could try tracing it on a sheet of paper and mailing the trace to you.
The paddle is 57 inches long.
The blade is 26 ish overall. The rib is not quite the same on opposite sides of the paddle.
 

Attachments

  • IMG_0433.jpg
    IMG_0433.jpg
    427.2 KB · Views: 627
  • IMG_0437.jpg
    IMG_0437.jpg
    505.2 KB · Views: 584
  • IMG_0436.jpg
    IMG_0436.jpg
    352.6 KB · Views: 599
  • IMG_0434.jpg
    IMG_0434.jpg
    379.2 KB · Views: 620
  • Peter paddle.jpg
    Peter paddle.jpg
    120.8 KB · Views: 628
That's excellent! Thank you so much. It appears the rib on the blade is about 3/4" high at its proudest. I should be able to replicate the shape with the info you've posted. Is this carved or laminated? Looks carved.
 
I just wanted to say, that’s a nice pair of paddles. They would be a must have item for anyone showing a William English canoe. Original paddles are key for winning a trophy at a boat show. They count for a large part of the points. Retail value on these paddles would be in the neighborhood of $500. with most of the value in the decals. I know a pair of Chestnut paddles that sold for $350.

Sincerely,

Robert P. Ross
Ross Bros.
PO Box 60277
Florence, MA 01062
413.320.2306

http://www.RossBros.com

http://www.facebook.com/?ref=logo#!/pages/Haydenville-MA/Ross-Bros/65099295488?ref=ts
 
Speaking of older paddles, and how much they do to help show off older wooden canoes in contests, just thought I'd mention an auction I attended recently where a pair of early Canadian Canoe Co. paddles were offered. There was plenty of spirited bidding for these older beauties in very good condition and said to be made of black ash. 59" and 57-1/2", one with decal, the other having two very minor checks in grain. Great old crackled varnish. Pics attached.

And, yes, I came home with them.
 

Attachments

  • CCC1.JPG
    CCC1.JPG
    43.3 KB · Views: 558
  • CCC1a.JPG
    CCC1a.JPG
    32.1 KB · Views: 580
HA HA! Thread resurrection!

I have been out of commission for a bit over a year and a half with double torn rotator cuffs (Do Not Try This At Home) I made a pair of these paddles as a trade for a 1956 OT that needs some TLC.

The family that traded the canoe was immensely patient with me since I had surgery in between the two paddles and was over year before I could finish the second one.

Here are some pictures of the second one, I forgot to take photos of the first one.

I made them from a WRC 2x6. When I do these again I should probably do a build-a-long.
 

Attachments

  • IMG_0128.jpg
    IMG_0128.jpg
    160 KB · Views: 533
  • IMG_0129.jpg
    IMG_0129.jpg
    181.6 KB · Views: 514
  • IMG_0131.jpg
    IMG_0131.jpg
    151.4 KB · Views: 508
  • IMG_0132.jpg
    IMG_0132.jpg
    146.5 KB · Views: 521
  • IMG_0133.jpg
    IMG_0133.jpg
    199.1 KB · Views: 504
  • IMG_0134.jpg
    IMG_0134.jpg
    157.7 KB · Views: 492
Back
Top