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Old Town Canoe and Johnson Outboards

Discussion in 'Research and History' started by Bill Lovejoy, Apr 13, 2020.

  1. Bill Lovejoy

    Bill Lovejoy Curious about Wooden Canoes

    Is anyone aware of a formal relationship between Old Town Canoe and OMC (Outboard Motor Corporation)?

    The most recent "Antique Outboarder" from AOMCI has an article about the 'new' 1954 Johnson 5 1/2. In the article there are several pictures from the 1954 Johnson sales brochure. The boat pictured bears a strong resemblance to a 13 1/2 foot Old Town Lapstrake. I also have a Johnson postcard, post marked 1954, which clearly shows a 13 1/2 foot Old Town.

    1954 Johnson Advertising 1 (reduced).jpg 1954 Johnson Advertising 2 (reduced).jpg 1954 Johnson Advertising 3 (reduced).jpg
     
  2. Benson Gray

    Benson Gray Canoe History Enthusiast Staff Member

    Page 67 of the book at http://www.wcha.org/store/old-town-canoe-company-our-first-hundred-years states that "By 1923 Old Town Canoe took on the distributorship of the complete line of popular Johnson outboard motors, becoming Johnson's first distributor. " This close relationship continued until the 1970s. Most of their fiberglass boats shipped with OMC engines.

    The Baby Buzz shown at https://www.wcha.org/forums/index.php?attachments/227/ was designed by Johnson. Old Town and many other manufacturers built boats from these plans. Let me know if this doesn't answer your question.

    Benson
     
  3. OP
    OP
    Bill Lovejoy

    Bill Lovejoy Curious about Wooden Canoes

    Thanks Benson,
    Did thoughts on whether exchange boats/outboards occasionally? Do you recall seeing any serial number records indicating boats were sold/shipped to OMC? Old Town wasn't a large manufacturer nationally in terms of lapstrake boats. I was surprised to see an Old Town used as part of OMC's advertising.
     
  4. ppine

    ppine Enthusiastic about Wooden Canoes

    I have an OT from 1951, and a 1.5 hp Johnson from 1929. The engine still runs and has been in the family since 1948. No correlation that I can tell.
     
  5. OP
    OP
    Bill Lovejoy

    Bill Lovejoy Curious about Wooden Canoes

    Any pictures?
     
  6. ppine

    ppine Enthusiastic about Wooden Canoes

    I do not post pictures, Sorry.
     
  7. Benson Gray

    Benson Gray Canoe History Enthusiast Staff Member

    A quick search for Johnson Motor located three records of shipments to them in Illinois and Florida as shown below. It also seems likely that professional photographers like Bruce Nett would have been selling images to both manufacturers as shown in the postcard below.

    Benson


    186141.jpg 177629.jpg 170286.jpg FISHING.JPG
     

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