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New Find - earliest Peterborough decal ???

Discussion in 'Research and History' started by Roger Young, Aug 30, 2015.

  1. Roger Young

    Roger Young display sample collector

    Friday afternoon, while at the Lakefield, Ontario, Antique Show, I happened upon some early Peterborough Canoe Co. paddles and oars. All had some great, early decals. One, a full-size cherry paddle, had a version of the Peterborough decal which I had never before seen; see pic below. Readers may recall a Forum thread posted back in early Nov. 2013 in which the sequence and possible dates of use of Peterborough decals was discussed: http://forums.wcha.org/showthread.p...o-decals&highlight=dating+Peterborough+decals.

    To my surprise, I believe there is an even earlier version which now must be added to that train. This newly discovered version bears the words "Peterborough, Canada" within the familiar red oval. This closely resembles the predecessor logo of the Ontario Canoe Company, and I now believe is likely the very first iteration of the Peterborough decal. Previously, I had thought that a decal bearing the words "Peterborough, Ontario" might have been the first. I'm now thinking that one comes second in the string, with several amended versions that follow later.

    Here, then, is a photo of the newly discovered PCC decal, along with the forerunner Ontario Canoe Company example, and the Peterborough decal ("Ontario") version which, I now believe comes second in line. To once again place the series in a suggested proper sequence, I will follow this post with another showing the six iterations that took place between 1892 and the 1950's. Because I can only post six photos at a time, I need to follow this one with another. Captions have been added to assist with the explanation of the changes to look for.
     

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  2. OP
    OP
    Roger Young

    Roger Young display sample collector

    here's the full series/sequence of PCC decals with explanations. I hope they show up in proper order.
     

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  3. Mark Z.

    Mark Z. LOVES Wooden Canoes

    Roger,
    In what you now describe as the second iteration of Peterborough decals, what is written below Peterborough Ontario in the center of the decal? And, what is the story behind the "belt" of the logo?
    thanks,
    Mark Z.
     
  4. OP
    OP
    Roger Young

    Roger Young display sample collector

    Mark:
    There is nothing written below the words "Peterborough, Ontario" within the red oval. The elongated thin black line that you see is simply that - a bit of decorative 'underlining', if you like. As for the belt portion of the design, canoe historian Roger MacGregor has always referred to this as a 'clansman's belt' (or 'buckle') whenever discussing these decals with me. To my mind, it would seem to signify a Scottish connection, but just to whom I'm not entirely sure. Perhaps a kind of 'tribute' to old John Stephenson, one of the pioneers of canoe-making in the Peterborough/Lakefield area. There was also a strong presence of Scottish immigrants to the area. Certainly, the design of the Peterborough logo flows from that of the Ontario Canoe Co. logo; however, I'm not aware of what was in the mind of the creator who first decided on using it. Since first responding, Roger MacGregor has stated that he, too, has no knowledge as to why this design feature was chosen.

    As for the possible dates of use I have ascribed to the various versions, I must confess these are very rough approximations. They are based mostly on observation, and are thus rather anecdotal. Some of it is highly interpretive, even a bit of guess work. It's meant more to plot out and give some perspective to the fact that differences can be seen, and then to try to reason "why?". But as Roger MacGregor has mentioned to me: while we can, in hindsight, presume to find some logic to it all, there were many hands and minds in charge of company operations over the years, and not necessarily a whole lot of consistency to their thinking, or the choices made. It provides a challenge for an otherwise idle mind, today.
     
    Last edited: Aug 31, 2015
  5. OP
    OP
    Roger Young

    Roger Young display sample collector

    In further answer to your question about the use of a 'clansman's belt' symbol, this is an ancient symbol as used in Scottish heraldry. I'm told that Scottish heraldic arms are very individual and personal, as well as tightly controlled, but that the clansman's belt/buckle symbol can have a wider, familial application. Seems likely that this usage in relation to Ontario Canoe Co. and Peterborough Canoe Co. may have an attachment to Col. Rogers, founder of the former and participant in the latter company. Beyond that, I'm not aware at this time.
    Roger
     
  6. Mac

    Mac Curious about Wooden Canoes

    20190509_194327.jpg Jumping in a few years late here but I have a Peterborough canoe with a logo I haven't seen yet. I'm told my Litelift model was built between 1939-56. Does anyone know what years this one was used? Thanks
     
  7. OP
    OP
    Roger Young

    Roger Young display sample collector

    First of all, Thank You, Mac, for adding to the train of Peterborough decals. I did not have this one in my list, above, and while I have a recollection of seeing something similar, I had neglected to add a photograph. That other pic is attached. I hope others will jump in here and offer thoughts on its age, perhaps based on known purchase dates of canoes bearing these decals. If I was pressed to make a guess at its place in the line of decal use, my thinking is perhaps toward the latter end of the Peterborough Canoe Co., maybe mid-1950's. The logo/name "Peterborough" in the upwardly inclined script was being used on boats of that era - both in decals and chrome plates. Also, the wording inside the red oval of the decal/logo says "Peterborough watercraft", which would follow on from the decal used at the time of the 75th Anniversary, in 1954. Interestingly, the word "Registered" again appears in full, rather than abbreviated.

    So, those are my thoughts; I stand to be corrected, educated, illuminated by others who may have more sound information. Thanks, again, for posting. You are never too late to contribute to these discussions, and help all of us better understand our history.

    Cheers,
    Roger
     

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    Mac likes this.
  8. Mac

    Mac Curious about Wooden Canoes

    This site is amazing! The knowledge everyone has is impressive. This definitely helps narrow down the age of my canoe. It's in line with what the previous owner said. He had it for about 40 years and the fellow before him about 25, give or take. Thanks so much
     

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