Inventor George W Abraham filed for a US Patent on June 11, 1923. I recently found the whole writeup on Google's Patent search engine. Here is an excerpt of the inventor's application:
It consists essentially of a paddle blade of the type ordinarily used for canoe paddles, the blade being provided with a handle having a hand-grip of the type usual with canoe paddles, and the blade having at a considerable distance from its outer end an opening within which is mounted a small propeller, the shaft of which extends axially of the handle to an electric motor, the casing of which forms a portion of the handle.
The principal object of the invention is to provide a paddle of light weight capable of all the uses of an ordinary canoe paddle, but having in addition a propeller of such small size as to be capable of operation by a light weight motor of a type suitable for use with an ordinary storage battery of small size.
Another object of the invention is to provide a motor driven propeller for use with canoes in streams or the lagoons of parks or other places where the use of gas engines is prohibited.
Well the idea never really caught on I guess. But with canoeing slowly dying off in favour of other activities, perhaps a high powered motorized paddle would be just the ticket to get the masses of thrill seeking adrenaline-junkies into canoeing again.