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Old Town Circa 1940?

Discussion in 'Serial Number Search' started by ChattahoocheeJim, Sep 9, 2008.

  1. ChattahoocheeJim

    ChattahoocheeJim Canoeist & Collector

    Would you be kind enough to share with me the build sheet for number 140004?
    The last one I asked for we never did figure out, I hope this is simpler.
    Jim
     
  2. Benson Gray

    Benson Gray Canoe History Enthusiast Staff Member

    The Old Town with serial number 140004 is went on a 15 foot, CS grade, wooden Ojibway model with red Western cedar planking, open spruce gunwales, mahogany decks, mahogany trim and a keel. It was built between May and July, 1944. The original exterior paint color was aluminum. It shipped on July 29th, 1944 to Zanesville, Ohio. A scan of this build record can be found by following the link at the thumbnail image attached below.

    The wooden Ojibway model was never advertised in the catalogs but appears to have been built on the same form as the fifty pound, lightweight, and trapper models. Please post some pictures if you can, especially of the decks since these occasionally had an unusual integrated hand hold.

    These scans and several hundred thousand others 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/ot_records/ if you want more details. I hope that you will renew your membership to the WCHA so that services like this can continue. See http://www.wcha.org/wcha/ to learn more about the WCHA and http://www.wcha.org/join.php to renew.

    It is also possible that you could have another number or manufacturer if this description doesn't match your boat. Feel free to reply here if you have any other questions.

    Benson
     

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  3. OP
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    ChattahoocheeJim

    ChattahoocheeJim Canoeist & Collector

    Oops

    Benson,
    I made a mistake, but I'm glad I did. I had no idea that Old Town painted canoes and aluminum color - before Grumman? I might like to try that.
    The number is 140044. I seems to have ash decks and spruce open gunwales.
    I'm sorry.
    And thank you so much,
    Jim
     
  4. Kathryn Klos

    Kathryn Klos squirrel whisperer

    Hi Jim,

    This one was easy to find, as I've looked it up a number of times lately...

    Old Town 140044 is a 16 foot CS grade ("common sense" or not fancy) HW model built during June and July of 1944. It has red Western cedar planking, open spruce gunwales, and was fitted with a keel. Ash for the decks, etc., is probably correct if it looks like ash to you... no specification that I can make out on the record. If I'm remembering the right canoe, it was my opinion that it may originally have had the wartime slat seats which may have been replaced at a later date with cane seats.

    A copy of the scan is attached below. I recognize that you are a member of WCHA, but for those reading this who are not, I am compelled to do a bit of arm-twisting and guilt provoking by reminding them that scans of approximately 210,000 records were created with substantial grants from the Wooden Canoe Heritage Association (WCHA) and others. Additional information about the project to preserve these records is available at http://www.wcha.org/ot_records/ if you want more details.

    I hope this canoe has finally found her forever home!

    Kathy
     

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    ChattahoocheeJim

    ChattahoocheeJim Canoeist & Collector

    You all have been so helpful that I felt compelled to join as a lifetime member. I thought it would be helpful to the organization even though the arithmetic might not work out.
    Thank you again.
     
  6. OP
    OP
    ChattahoocheeJim

    ChattahoocheeJim Canoeist & Collector

    Kathy,
    Just printed the build sheet - amazing. The one Benson sent me - 40 canoes before - was also painted aluminum color. This is a first and second for me! Must have been some patriotic, WWII fervor going on. I'm going to paint it the original color. It must look great in the water.
    Jim
     
  7. OP
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    ChattahoocheeJim

    ChattahoocheeJim Canoeist & Collector

    Stupid me

    Sorry Kathy,
    Printed Benson's sheet again. Printed yours after checking, looks right.
     
  8. Kathryn Klos

    Kathryn Klos squirrel whisperer

    It's interesting to imagine what was going on in the world when a wartime canoe was being built... and to wonder if it was even more necessary to escape the towns and cities and news of war, and be out on the water.
     
  9. OP
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    ChattahoocheeJim

    ChattahoocheeJim Canoeist & Collector

    Kathy,
    There's a site on ebay that sells old advertisements - magazine clippings.
    Old Town is well-represented. It's amazing how there ads reflect the times. And of course the covers of the Old Town catalogs do as well. The WWI cover is amazing!
    Old Town is really a part of our material culture, not just the canoes, but their ads and promotional stuff.
    J
     
  10. Kathryn Klos

    Kathryn Klos squirrel whisperer

    I love the ads that promote the romance of the canoe... will scan and attach one that I bought. It's not very "PC", but Old Town gives credit where credit is due!

    Will also attach picture proclaiming the delights of family canoeing-- in a Morris. We don't have an Old Town (yet).

    Kathy
     

    Attached Files:

  11. Benson Gray

    Benson Gray Canoe History Enthusiast Staff Member

    Jim, you are most welcome and your contribution to the organization as a life member is much appreciated. Aluminum became a very popular color for wooden canoes after Grumman's entry to the canoe market. It was one of those fashion things like so many of the other interesting parts of old advertisements. I also find old ads fascinating like the 1919 Old Town catalog cover you mentioned as shown at http://www.wcha.org/catalogs/old-town/covers/large-19.gif and the new color designs they introduced that year as shown in the image below. The irony is that I have very little interest in modern advertising and fashions.

    Kathy, you should have at least one Old Town. There many listed in the WCHA classifieds and lots of other places so it can't be a lack of options. I'll stop now before this thread is completely hijacked.

    Benson
     

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    Last edited: Sep 11, 2008
  12. Denis M. Kallery

    Denis M. Kallery Passed Away July 3, 2012 In Memoriam

    Benson,
    We just haven't found the right one yet! I'm sure it will come along some time.
    Denis :)
     
  13. Dave Wermuth

    Dave Wermuth Who hid my paddle?

    gotta jump in

    Hi denis/Kathy; I seem to recall a conversation some time ago about how you two have canoes of various makes but for some random act of the universe (taking license here) you have not yet come accross an Old Town. Remember? I caution you to never get an example of what is arguably THE most common of canoes. I suspect that once you do then your collection would be complete --and then what?

    Have you considered making an offer on 140044?
    ;-]
     
  14. Kathryn Klos

    Kathryn Klos squirrel whisperer

    OTs

    We've almost had a few Old Towns... everything from an 18 foot HW with sponsons to boats shorter and lighter in weight. And a woman I know says we can have (free of charge) her Old Town that's at a lake somewhere in Wisconsin... sounds to me like it's a boat rather than a canoe though... but it's an OT.

    I find myself looking at the old catalogs and finding the canoes I want... may sound like daydreaming, but it's been interesting what's come our way in the past couple years.

    I LOVE the canoe below, circa 1904... want one in the 15 foot size!

    I like the 50 pounder you have for sale, Benson. All our extra bucks are going into the barn, though.

    There's an Ideal currently on eBay, only 3-4 hours away from us...
     

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  15. OP
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    ChattahoocheeJim

    ChattahoocheeJim Canoeist & Collector

    That is a sweet canoe - I notice it has closed gunwales. Is there a detail available for it, complete with dimensions? I need to replace one on a 1909 model.
    This is an interesting blog for the serial number section.
    The cover you attached, Benson, is one of my favorites.
     
  16. Fitz

    Fitz Wooden Canoes are in the Blood

    Ideal

    Kathy:

    Here is a plug for the Ideal. I have one that was my first attempt at rehab. It came out fine, but there are things I will do differently the next time it needs canvas.

    I'm not sure what it is about it, but it screams at me, "FAST", every time I paddle it. It is a good choice if you need an Old Town.
     
  17. Benson Gray

    Benson Gray Canoe History Enthusiast Staff Member

    This thread has wandered so far off topic now that hijacking doesn't seem to be a concern any more. It is also strange to maintain conversations with two people in each message. But anyway...

    Jim, I currently have two closed gunwale Old Town canoes 1914 and 1919 in my garage if you want dimensions, pictures, or other details. Some general pictures are available at http://classifieds.wcha.org/index.c...xact_match=on&photo_size=full&query=retrieval and http://cgi.liveauctions.ebay.com/_W0QQitemZ140256233301 if that helps.

    Kathy, you may look for quite a while before finding a 15 foot Old Town from 1904, especially a Charles River model. The fifty pound model may have been built on the same form as the Charles River model so that could expand your possibilities. The fifteen foot canoe discussed at http://forums.wcha.org/showthread.php?t=2780 is the only one that I have ever seen in the pre-1906 style. There is a similar sixteen foot one available here in town but it was converted to a motor canoe with an engine like the one shown at http://www.oldmarineengine.com/discus/messages/1/91821.jpg after 1909. It needs a lot of work but the owner seems to think that it is worth over $1500 and has turned down an $800 offer. We should really start another thread if anyone wants additional information about it. I also have a canoe with double mahogany gunwales like you asked about at http://forums.wcha.org/showthread.php?t=3816 if you want pictures or more information.

    Benson
     
    Last edited: Sep 14, 2008
  18. OP
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    ChattahoocheeJim

    ChattahoocheeJim Canoeist & Collector

    Benson, I would be forever indebted if you could give me some measurements, like width and thickness of outwale, inwale and cap piece. There on my canoe, but I'm not sure they're authentic. Moreover, some joker made them out of pine - not a long-lasting, durable marine species.
     
  19. Benson Gray

    Benson Gray Canoe History Enthusiast Staff Member

    I have attached some pictures of my blue 1914 fifty pound model (which currently weighs 63 pounds) and my green 1919 HW model along with copies of the original build records which both indicate closed spruce gunwales.

    My rough measurements of the fifty pound model indicate that the inside gunwale is about 7/8 of an inch wide (horizontally) by 3/4 of an inch thick (vertically) in the middle. The outside gunwale is about 13/16 of an inch wide (vertically) by 1/4 of an inch thick (horizontally) in the middle and tapers to about 5/8 of an inch wide at the ends. The top rail cap is about one and 1/8 of an inch wide (horizontally) by 1/4 of an inch thick (vertically) in the middle and tapers to about 3/4 of an inch wide at the ends. The rail cap is also somewhat rounded in the middle and more square edged on the decks.

    My rough measurements of the HW model indicate that the inside gunwale is about one inch wide (horizontally) by 7/8 of an inch thick (vertically) in the middle. The outside gunwale is about 3/4 of an inch wide (vertically) by 1/4 of an inch thick (horizontally) in the middle with no tapering at the ends. The rail cap is about one and 1/8 of an inch wide (horizontally) by 1/4 of an inch thick (vertically) in the middle and tapers to about 3/4 of an inch wide at the ends. The rail cap is also more rounded in the middle and much more square on the decks than the fifty pound model.

    Let me know if you have other questions or want more pictures. Good luck with your restoration.

    Benson
     

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  20. OP
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    ChattahoocheeJim

    ChattahoocheeJim Canoeist & Collector

    Benson,
    Amazing! The dimensions are much more robust than I thought. Mine has thin material so it could simply be bent, not steamed - the cheaters.
    Also noticed on your canoes the gunwales are nailed, not screwed. I assume this was generally and earlier detail before people discovered the open gunwales dry out and don't foster decay.
    Thank you for your efforts. I'm going to sketch these details out and add them to my restoration manual for this canoe. Of course, you'll be footnoted.
    Jim
     

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