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Info Needed - Early Caned Folding Canoe Seat/chair

Discussion in 'Research and History' started by Michael Grace, Jan 23, 2019.

  1. Michael Grace

    Michael Grace Lifetime Member

    Can anyone help? I'm looking for an example of a folding canoe seat like the one in the attached photo. My apologies to the original photographer - I simply can't remember where I got this image. I need to find out some details about how this kind of seat is built. If you have one or know where one is, please let me know.

    Thanks very much - Michael

    Folding seat - caned.jpg
  2. MGC

    MGC Scrapmaker

    Is it possible that is a bit of a homebrew kluge? The seat resembles the back rest. It looks like someone took two backrests and hinged them, attached them to a flat board and added two hinged braces to the back of backrest. It's clever should able to replicate it by making two backrests.
    I have an 05 OT backrest that I could share pictures and details from if you are interested. And if my guess is correct, you probably have a bunch of these from other manufactures...
  3. OP
    Michael Grace

    Michael Grace Lifetime Member

    Hi Mike - Thanks for the feedback. I forgot to mention that this is a Rushton product. He sold these in three styles, all overall the same shape and mechanism of action, but one in solid wood, one in slats, and this one caned. Below is a page from the 1907 Rushton catalog showing this type. The example above is a little rough. It looks like the joints have separated and so the structure may have been reinforced with added wood underneath. I'm just trying to learn more about its construction. Thanks much - Michael

    1907 page-57.jpg
  4. MGC

    MGC Scrapmaker a Rushton kluge...I spent 40 years designing, engineering,'d be amazed at how often a product is made with bits that are available/laying around.
  5. Greg Nolan

    Greg Nolan enthusiast

    Michael -- I don't if these tiny pictures are of any help --

    woodenFoldingSeat3.JPG WoodenFoldingSeat4.JPG woodenFoldingSeat2.jpg woodenFoldingSeat1.JPG

    and I don't remember from where I got them.
  6. OP
    Michael Grace

    Michael Grace Lifetime Member

    Those are the solid form, Greg. Same maker, just different type. Thanks, though. And Mike, yes, smart builders then and now find productive use for offcuts for other things. Even if the larger pieces (like the one-piece bases of the solid form Greg shows above) have to be from original lumber, the cross-pieces and the V-support could be made from offcuts. Much of the slat form could have been made from offcuts.
  7. MGC

    MGC Scrapmaker

    I believe that Howie may have a piece of well aged larger material that came with a canoe he is working on. I don't know if he has a use for it...I'm also not sure of the dimensions. You might PM him for details...he's pretty good about responding.....with garage shop these zero degree days have been a bit of a hindrance to his work.:eek:
  8. Dan Miller

    Dan Miller cranky canoeist Staff Member

    Just acquired.

    1905Gerrish likes this.
  9. OP
    Michael Grace

    Michael Grace Lifetime Member

    What do you think of it, Dan? I studied this in the auction photos and just find it odd for Rushton - thick, chunky, not very elegant. For example, the hinges are placed on top of the caning. Beginning in 1893, the folding seats all have the shape shown in earlier posts above. Are there any earlier images? Curious what you think of this seat now that you have it in hand.
  10. Dan Miller

    Dan Miller cranky canoeist Staff Member

    Hard to say. On the one hand, like you point out, the hinges are atop the cane.

    On the other hand, the seat bottom is the classic Rushton trapezoid (not possible to determine if it is assembled with mortise and tenon), the overall seat base is the same shape as the other styles, the back support and three-holed base are typical Rushton, as are the hinge style. The whole base is well-fitted, (or was, prior to shrinkage over time), and the seat bottom is mounted to the rails with dowels through the sides, which were subsequently pinned with brads.

    It's made of cherry, and has that classic vintage cherry look.

    I have found no images showing a seat of this style, and none of my pre-1893 describe anything similar.

    It did come out of Canton.

    I'm inclined to believe it is Rushton until proven otherwise, and may be an evolutionary stage, or a "quick, fill an order with what's on hand" type object.

    Also, apparently one of the Adirondack antiques appraisers who is knowledgeable about canoes also told the auction house that it was Rushton. FWIW.
    Last edited: Aug 17, 2019
  11. MGC

    MGC Scrapmaker

    The hole spacing and weave also appear to be correct.
    Perhaps my buddy Cyclone made it...that would explain the hinges:eek:
  12. Benson Gray

    Benson Gray Canoe History Enthusiast Staff Member

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