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Thompson Bros. Ranger?

Discussion in 'Research and History' started by Scott Duffus, Jul 31, 2022.

  1. Scott Duffus

    Scott Duffus New Member

    This canoe has been in my family since about 1962. It was purchased by my Scoutmaster father from Camp Norseland, a Boy Scout Camp of the then Minnesota Vally Council in Southern Minnesota. The Camp was founded in 1948, so I am thinking the canoe is probably not older than that. It is 16' long and originally had no seats. I was always told the it was an Old Town Boy Scout Canoe, (there was a lot of Official Boy Scout Gear back then). As I have been researching this canoe I am fairly sure that it is not an Old Town, and is more likely a Thompson Bros. Ranger, or a copy of one.

    I am interested in opinions from folks who might have knowledge about Thompson Bros. canoes. This boat either did not have a serial number or it broke off with the section of the stern stem that is missing. It does have 3 3/4" beveled planking. and ribs have clipped corners. The planking pattern looks like the diagram that Mike Elliot has posted on-line. The decks are either cedar or spruce, and have a metal strap underneath on both the bow and the stern. Any help is appreciated!

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Jul 31, 2022
  2. Dan Lindberg

    Dan Lindberg Ex Wood Hoarder

    I agree, T Ranger, which with this low, guide style end shape, was offered in the catalogs from 1949 to 1953;.
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  3. Dave Osborn

    Dave Osborn LIFE MEMBER

    Your research is correct in identifying this as a Thompson Ranger. Once popular with Scouts and kids camps. Often supplied without seats, or sometimes with simple plank seats, as you can imagine cane seats would take quite a beating from the youngsters. Kids were taught to paddle from a kneeling position.
    The clipped rib tips, planking, deck, and deck straps are all consistent with Thompson construction.

    I believe Peterson Bros made canoes, however I’ve never seen one. Their forte, was small rowboats as I recall. I owned one and have restored a couple.

    Attached Files:

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  4. Dan Miller

    Dan Miller cranky canoeist Staff Member

    Peterson Bros. were the successor to Shell Lake Boat Company. Not related to Thompson.
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  5. OP
    Scott Duffus

    Scott Duffus New Member

    Thanks! I put the wrong name in the title! I’ll edit it for clarity!
  6. I can confirm Peterson Bros. made at least one canoe. The one I have has a tag pretty similar to the one Dave posted. It was glassed somewhere along the line.

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