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Old Town Color Design Question

Discussion in 'Wood and Canvas' started by Craig Dupler, Oct 13, 2018.

  1. Craig Dupler

    Craig Dupler New Member

    Ok, so there are illustrations in some of the Old Town catalogs which show "designs" which do not appear in any of the design selection guides. That could have been the illustrators taking a liberty with their task, or they could be designs that were not listed in the catalogs. I have a specific question, and I guess I'm looking for opinions, since I think that facts will be hard to come by. In this page from one of the catalogs several designs are shown. We know that there were three of the extreme AA grade designs that had the mahogany rub rail. They were #23 in red above dark brown, #35 with white over black, and #45 with white over "Yale" blue. Ok, so there is a green version of this fancy AA grade in this picture given that both design 20 and 25 were quite red and that there is plenty of red on design #1 which is shown full length. So, I'm thinking that the design between #22 and #25 might have been a light green over dark green, possibly for Dartmouth, (although the upper really should have been white for that), and not #23, which was red and brown. It's hard to see how it could have been #23 since the other reds in the illustration have not faded or bled in the same way. So what do you think? Could there have been a green version of the designs with the rub rail?

    Attached Files:

  2. Benson Gray

    Benson Gray Canoe History Enthusiast Staff Member

    Welcome, the short answer is yes, Old Town would paint almost anything that the customer was willing to pay for. I have a green version of that design as shown at and which came from the factory. The image you attached came from pages 14 and 15 of the 1926 catalog. The one with the oak leaf is clearly identified as design number 23 in the image below. Colors in printed materials don't always match paints well. If the customer wanted a very specific color then they would occasionally send in a sample and the painter would match it. See the build record at for a design number 23 which was painted to match a sample. If a specific design was desired then they might send in a sketch. See for an example of this with a rub rail. See for more information about the original design guide from the paint room wall in the old factory. Let me know if this doesn't answer your question.


    Last edited: Oct 14, 2018
  3. OP
    Craig Dupler

    Craig Dupler New Member

    Perfect! Thanks. The ability to get good data like this is what makes the WCHA so valuable. I really appreciate the thorough answer.
  4. OP
    Craig Dupler

    Craig Dupler New Member

    I should also add that I really like your 1982 canoe!

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