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Discussion in 'Serial Number Search' started by Jeff block, May 8, 2022.
54078. 16 on both stems of my old canoe…
Welcome and congratulations, the Old Town canoe with serial number 54078 is a 16 foot long, AA (or top) grade, Ideal model with red western cedar planking, open mahogany gunwales, mahogany decks, mahogany thwarts, mahogany seats, half ribs, and a keel. It was built between May and June, 1919. The original exterior paint color was dark green. It was shipped on June 17th, 1919 to Chicago, Illinois. A scan of this build record can be found below.
This scan and several hundred thousand others were created with substantial grants from the Wooden Canoe Heritage Association (WCHA) and others. A description of the project to preserve these records is available at http://www.wcha.org/catalogs/old-town/records/ if you want more details. I hope that you will donate, join or renew your membership to the WCHA so that services like this can continue. See https://www.woodencanoe.org/about to learn more about the WCHA and https://www.woodencanoe.org/shop to donate or join.
It is also possible that you could have another number or manufacturer if this description doesn't match your canoe. Feel free to reply here if you have any other questions.
Thanks for the info. I was wondering if you would know if the ribs are western red cedar? Would the Mahogany be from America or elsewhere? What is the word on the line saying when it was railed? Oiled means linseed oil under the canvas? It was my great grandfathers canoe so this created some family interest and I also am in the process of stripping the varnish to restore since it’s in very good shape.
Here are some pics of a few broken ribs and lots of caked on varnish
This looks like a great project. Canoes with a family connection are always extra special. The ribs are white Maine cedar as described at http://www.wcha.org/catalogs/old-town/specific.gif from a period catalog. The mahogany would probably be from South America. The word on the railed line is usually the name of the person who did the work, but I can only guess at this one. Many of these jobs were paid as 'piece work' so there often were dollars associated with getting your name on a build record. The oiled line commonly means that boiled linseed oil was applied to the hull before it was canvassed. Let me know if this doesn't answer your questions. Good luck with the rest of the restoration,
I was stripping the old paint off from the bottom of the outer gunwale and see the original bright green but also some orange over the green then an off red over the orange. The grey was on the canvas from a relative way back when. . Under all is an oil . Would the gunwales ever be painted by old town as an option? We appreciate your information!
The bottoms of the outside rails often got painted along with the canvas. Most manufacturers would do almost anything that a customer was willing to pay for. However, I don't ever recall seeing any notes on a build record indicating that anyone ever asked for paint on the tops of the gunwales. There is no mention of that on this record.
It’s possible that the gunwales are not original. I see a Philips screw head in the photo. Slotted flat head screws would have been typical from the factory.
Possibly, there is no one to ask anymore to be certain. Thanks.
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