Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Historic Paddle Photos: In Pine Tree Jungles

Another find on 's massive collection of vintage texts is a booklet put out by the  Bangor and Aroostook Railroad Company -   In Pine-Tree Jungles: A hand-book for sportsmen and campers in the great Maine woods (1902). While flipping through its pages, I came across two photos that clearly show some early wood canvas canoe designs and wonderful paddles.

The first is on page 17 and features a great bushcraft camp scene. Pot boiling over the fire with canvas shelter rigged up. The canoe on shore looks to be a very early cedar canvas model with closed gunnels and no seats and the thwarts mortised into the inwales like in birchbark canoe construction.

Between the seated gentleman and the canoe, two paddles rest against the canvas shelter. The contrast isn't the greatest, but by zooming in, one can make out the graceful beavertail shape and slender grip. Each look to have a roll on the top. Here is the closeup...

Page 66 has a vertical, full-sized image of a successful hunt scene. Here is the image rotated. Again no seats in these early guide canoes. A paddle is resting on the ground on the lower left of the image...

While the bulk of the blade is buried under the brush, you can clearly see the wide top grip with a subtle roll that quickly tapers and sharply merges with the paddle shaft.

Paddle Closeup

This paddle image reminded me of a similar design on a pair of child's paddles that were identified as Penobscot made by the antique dealer.

Pair of Child's Canoe Paddles
Circa 1920
5" w, 42.75" h

Also, another recent historic photo post revealed an unknown guide using a similarly shaped grip ...

Paddle Grip Closeup
Original Post & Photo sequence HERE

1 comment:

David said...

Beautiful pictures, especially the first and the last!!
thank you for sharing your find with us!!


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