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Old Town And Morris

Discussion in 'Serial Number Search' started by Brly, Sep 23, 2018.

  1. Brly

    Brly Curious about Wooden Canoes

    My Dad has two canvas canoes in his barn, waiting for a time that he can restore them. I was at his place today and got the serial numbers.
    One is an Old Town, SN 77791. I believe it is an 18' canoe, but that number was more difficult to read. It has an Old Town decal on the bow deck, not a metal tag. It's a very nice canoe and will be an easy restoration.
    We're quite sure the second is a Morris. Slayed stem with SN tag, heart decks, closed gunwales. The SN is 13933. This canoe is in pretty rough shape. Someone has painted the inside brown and there's quite a bit of work to be done.
    I didn't get any pictures. They're on a rack so I climbed a ladder to get the serial numbers. Any information would be greatly appreciated!
    Thanks,
    Ben
     
  2. Benson Gray

    Benson Gray Canoe History Enthusiast Staff Member

    The Old Town canoe with serial number 77791 is an 18 foot long, CS (common sense or middle) grade, Otca model with red western cedar planking, open spruce gunwales, twenty inch birch decks, birch thwarts, birch seats, and a keel. It was built between April and May, 1923. The original exterior paint color was Yale blue. It shipped on June 8th, 1923 to Reading, Penna. A scan of this build record can be found by following the link at the attached thumbnail image below.

    77791.jpg

    This scan and several hundred thousand more were created with substantial grants from the Wooden Canoe Heritage Association (WCHA) and others as you probably know well. 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 join or renew your membership to the WCHA so that services like this can continue. See http://www.wcha.org/about-wcha to learn more about the WCHA and http://www.wcha.org/store/membership to join.

    It is possible that you could have another number or manufacturer if this description doesn't match your canoe. The decal name plate on the deck is probably original since metal tags were only used before 1902 and after 1978. There are no known build records available for Morris canoes. The estimates at http://www.wcha.org/content/bn-morris indicate that your Morris may be circa 1916. Feel free to reply here if you have any other questions. Good luck to you both with the restorations,

    Benson
     
    Last edited: Sep 24, 2018
  3. MGC

    MGC Paddlephile

    It must be Morris season!
    You may read a bit about Morris here:
    http://www.wcha.org/content/bn-morris
    The 13933 suggests a 1915/16 ish build...unlike Old Town there are no remaining Morris records so dating is somewhat uncertain. It's interesting that it has the heart shaped decks...many of the canoes built in that period had the curved decks. If you have photo's to post it would be interesting to see what you have.

    The OT should have more numbers on the stem..if it's an 18 foot canoe 18 should also be stamped near the SN.
     
  4. OP
    OP
    Brly

    Brly Curious about Wooden Canoes

    Good Morning Benson,
    Thanks for the information. However, the attached build record does not match your typed description. The build record is for a 17' Otca, medium green in color built in 1939-1940.
    Sorry to be a pain!
    Thanks,
    Ben
     
  5. OP
    OP
    Brly

    Brly Curious about Wooden Canoes

    MGC - Appreciate the information! I'll take a look at your link. It may be a while before I get photos, but I'll do my best.
    The OT does have the length after the serial number, I just couldn't be certain if it was "18" or something else. The OT is about 10' up on a rack and the Morris is above that. We decided to leave them there since I could read the serial numbers from a ladder.
    Maybe the next time I visit Dad I can talk him into getting them down for pictures.
    Thanks again,
    Ben
     
  6. Benson Gray

    Benson Gray Canoe History Enthusiast Staff Member

    Oops, I just corrected this. Sorry about that,

    Benson
     
  7. OP
    OP
    Brly

    Brly Curious about Wooden Canoes

    No worries!
    Thanks again,
    Ben
     
  8. OP
    OP
    Brly

    Brly Curious about Wooden Canoes

    A little more information on the Morris. Photos of the decks are attached. The tips of the decks are rotten and broken off, but you get the idea for the size. I think they're painted, so no signs of a label if there is one. As you can see in the photos, the decks are stepped about 5" from the tips. This canoe has two thwarts. I didn't see anything suggesting a center thwart existed, but I didn't get a close look at that area.
    Two different types of rings on the decks. Any idea if either, or both, are original? One has a metal plate underneath, which we assume was an old repair.
    Thanks,
    Ben
     

    Attached Files:

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