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Old Town serial #s

Discussion in 'Serial Number Search' started by kmartin, May 20, 2021.

  1. kmartin

    kmartin Enthusiastic about Wooden Canoes

    Hi Have 2 Old Towns in the shop now and wondering if someone can send the build info. #143977 17' and 181406 18' . Thanks, Kevin
     
  2. Benson Gray

    Benson Gray Canoe History Enthusiast Staff Member

    The Old Town canoe with serial number 143977 is a 17 foot long, AA (or top) grade, HW (Heavy Water) model with open mahogany gunwales, mahogany decks, mahogany thwarts, mahogany seats, and a keel. It was built between January and April, 1946. The original exterior paint color was dark green. This shipped on April 23rd, 1946 to Branford, Connecticut.

    The Old Town canoe with serial number 181406 is an 18 foot long Otca model with a keel and rub rails. It was built between September, 1968 and June, 1972. The original exterior paint design probably looked similar to the one shown at http://www.wcha.org/catalogs/old-town/designs/design45.gif which was known as the design number 45. It shipped on June 27th, 1972 to Laconia, New Hampshire.

    Scans of these build records can be found below. These scans 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 donate, 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 donate or renew.

    It is also possible that you could have another number or manufacturer if these descriptions don't match the canoes. Feel free to reply here if you have any other questions,

    Benson



    143977.jpg


    181406.jpg
     
    Last edited: May 20, 2021
  3. OP
    OP
    kmartin

    kmartin Enthusiastic about Wooden Canoes

    Thanks Benson. Wow looks like 4 years from build till sold on the OTCA. Think that's the longest I have noticed.
     
  4. Benson Gray

    Benson Gray Canoe History Enthusiast Staff Member

    Yes, big fancy wooden canoes were not selling quickly in the late 1960s and early 1970s. The wide horizontal spreads on the charts at http://www.wcha.org/catalogs/old-town/oldtown_chart.html shows that some canoes stayed in the factory warehouses for a very long time before being shipped.

    Benson
     
  5. Tom Wolstenholme

    Tom Wolstenholme New Member

    Hi Benson
    Could you tell me the building history for No 140499

    Thanks very much
    Tom
     
  6. Benson Gray

    Benson Gray Canoe History Enthusiast Staff Member

    Welcome, the Old Town canoe with serial number 140499 is a 17 foot long, AA (or top) grade, Otca model with red Western cedar planking, open ash gunwales, ash decks, ash thwarts, ash seats, a keel, outside stems, floor rack, and rub rails. It was built between July and October, 1944. The original exterior paint design was similar to the one shown at http://www.wcha.org/catalogs/old-town/designs/design45.gif which was know as the design number 45. It shipped on March, 21st, 1945 to Boston, Massachusetts. A scan of this build record can be found below.

    This scan and several hundred thousand more were created with substantial grants from the Wooden Canoe Heritage Association (WCHA) and others. 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 donate, 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 donate or join.

    It is also possible that you could have another number or manufacturer if this description doesn't match the canoe. Please post some pictures if the original design is still showing. Feel free to reply here if you have any other questions.

    Benson



    140499.jpg
     
    Last edited: May 25, 2021
  7. Tom Wolstenholme

    Tom Wolstenholme New Member

    Thanks very much Benson ! Wow - Jordan Marsh eh?
    As far as the owner knows it has always been at his family’s summer house in Plymouth, MA.

    Tom
     
  8. Tom Wolstenholme

    Tom Wolstenholme New Member

    Benson
    The owner of #140499 would like me to find a way to replicate the original design number 45. I assume the design is repeated at both ends. If this is not the case is there a full length picture of Number 45?

    I have spoken to a graphics person whom I have dealt with for decades. She feels it could be replicated if we could find a picture with higher resolution.

    Thank you for your assistance,
    Tom
     
  9. Benson Gray

    Benson Gray Canoe History Enthusiast Staff Member

    The design 45 is repeated on each side and on each end. The picture at http://www.wcha.org/forums/index.php?attachments/5305/ shows a full length example. The pictures and information at http://www.wcha.org/forums/index.php?threads/9357/ should give your graphics person the details they need. Let me know if you or they need anything else. Thanks,

    Benson
     
  10. Tom Wolstenholme

    Tom Wolstenholme New Member

    Benson
    Thank you very much for all these details.

    What is the significance of the leaf in design #45 ?
    Is it a symbol of the “dugout” heritage?

    Also, the description for design #45 indicates a 1/2” gold stripe. Was this originally an applied gold leaf
    or more like a “sign painter’s yellow” ? I noticed that in your thread 9357, the gold stripe looks like a “spun” gold leaf.

    Thanks again,

    Tom
     
  11. Benson Gray

    Benson Gray Canoe History Enthusiast Staff Member

    We can only speculate about the significance of the leaf in the design number 45 since there isn't anyone left alive who can tell us why it was originally chosen or what it symbolized. I suspect that the gold stripes were done in a variety of different ways at the factory over the years. My canoe came from the factory in the early 1980s with a gold paint for the stripes and leaves. There was enough copper in the paint that it eventually turned green after too much use in the ocean. This bothered me so I had a local sign painter replace it with gold leaf. They offered to burnish it with a spun pattern and I liked how that looked. I have also heard stories that the factory once had a special paint which contained gold leaf flakes that they used for gold stripes. It was so expensive that they kept it in the office safe when it wasn't being actively used. I think that it was still there when they demolished the building in 2014. See http://www.wcha.org/forums/index.php?threads/old-town-factory-demolition.11711/#post-60709 for pictures of the safe, which was one of the last parts to come down. Let us know what you decide and please share some pictures,

    Benson
     
    Last edited: Jun 25, 2021

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