Help support the WCHA Forums by making a tax-deductible donation!

Can You Help Me Identify My Canoe?

Discussion in 'Wood and Canvas' started by Paddler, Oct 19, 2018.

  1. OP
    OP
    Paddler

    Paddler Curious about Wooden Canoes

    The other end is totally unreadable except for the 16 on the end. What makes you think it's a Carleton?
     
  2. Fitz

    Fitz Wooden Canoes are in the Blood

    Your fourth picture shows a short carry thwart in the bow of the canoe. This was a common feature in Carleton canoes - not so common in Old Town canoes unless it was a heavy canoe with sponsons etc. Carleton was bought out by Old Town in 1910 or so, but Old Town continued to produce canoes with the Carleton name. The carry thwart looks original to me. If you can get a better handle on the serial number it may show that it is an Old Town Carleton canoe.

    The carriage bolts in the gunwales for the carry thwart are also bunged, so it might be older than 1920 or so. Diamond head carriage bolts were used after that. I can't really see how the carriage bolts for the stern seat are handled.
     
    Last edited: Oct 21, 2018
  3. Benson Gray

    Benson Gray Canoe History Enthusiast Staff Member

    Old Town purchased Carleton in March of 1910 as Fitz mentioned but the Carleton factory burned the next year so all production of both companies was consolidated into the same factory after June of 1911. The Carleton addition allowed them to double their dealer network since Carleton and Old Town retailers were technically not competing with each other. (General Motors does the same thing today with Chevrolet and GMC pickup trucks.) Occasionally the rush to fill an order would cause them to convert a Carleton to an Old Town canoe and vice versa. This could mean changing the decks and serial numbers if they had time or just swapping the nameplates if they were in a real hurry. Your canoe appears to be one where they changed the serial numbers which makes them very difficult to read now. The trick is to determine which digit is the most clear in each case. This is why it could be helpful to see a picture of the numbers from the other end even if they seem "totally unreadable" to you. We might be able to find the correct record if the range of possible numbers can be limited to a manageable size.

    Pictures of the seat and thwart bolts could be helpful since the diamond headed bolts were introduced around 1923 as Fitz also mentioned. This is another way to determine the range of possible serial numbers. See http://www.wcha.org/catalogs/carleton/carleton_chart.html for the Carleton serial number range by date and
    http://www.wcha.org/catalogs/old-town/oldtown_chart.html for the Old Town one.

    See http://www.wcha.org/forums/index.php?threads/13829/ for examples of the Carleton and Old Town style carry thwarts.

    Let us know if this doesn't answer your question. Thanks,

    Benson
     
    Last edited: Oct 21, 2018
  4. OP
    OP
    Paddler

    Paddler Curious about Wooden Canoes

    Very interesting stuff. I will take a picture of the other stem numbers later this afternoon and post them. The bolts that hold the seats on are diamond headed except for the little wooden cross brace up near the deck that were missing 40 years ago when I got the canoe. I replaced them with brass toilet hold down bolts at the time.
     
  5. OP
    OP
    Paddler

    Paddler Curious about Wooden Canoes

    Below I've attached photos of the other serial numbers and photos of the seats and bolts. DSCN2476.JPG DSCN2476.JPG DSCN2486.JPG DSCN2487.JPG DSCN2488.JPG DSCN2492.JPG DSCN2495.JPG DSCN2493.JPG DSCN2494.JPG
     

    Attached Files:

  6. Benson Gray

    Benson Gray Canoe History Enthusiast Staff Member

    The other end seems to confirm that it is a five digit number and the first digit is a one. This indicates that it is a Carleton number since the Old Town numbers in the 1xxxx range are all well before diamond headed bolts. A Carleton number would need to be in the 18xxx or 19xxx ranges to have diamond headed bolts. The last two digits appear to be 74 but which makes 18374 and 19874 the best matches as shown below. Unfortunately, both of these canoes have birch seats and your seats don't appear to be birch. Neither of these records give any indication that the canoe started as an Old Town either. This may remain a mystery until you can get some stripper and better light on those stems to see if any of these numbers become more clear. Sorry,

    Benson



    c-18374.jpg c-19874.jpg
     
  7. OP
    OP
    Paddler

    Paddler Curious about Wooden Canoes

    Hi Benson,
    I zoomed in on the first number and I see a faint image of a 7 that in my opinion looks a lot like the 7 on the other stem. Also the more I look at the numbers on the other stem the more I'm convinced they are 73071. Please take a closer look and let me know what you think. Thanks!
    DSCN2499.JPG DSCN2487.JPG
     
  8. MGC

    MGC Paddlephile

    If you do a pencil rub over the numbers you should be able to eliminate the guesswork. I have found that cash register receipt paper works really well for rubs, especially if it's a receipt from something really expensive that you have plans to return.
     
    Dan Lindberg likes this.
  9. Benson Gray

    Benson Gray Canoe History Enthusiast Staff Member

    Great,

    Benson
     

Share This Page