Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Eastern Maine - Practical Guide

Eastern Maine Practical Guide (1905) by Albert Moore Rollins is a little booklet which features a few wonderful images of state's canoeing culture. Page 13 has a grainy photo a small canoe party. It looks as though one guide is using a wood canvas canoe while the other is guiding with a lovely looking bark canoe. The length of the paddles is quite apparent.

Calais Parties, Cathance Lake Image

 Canvas Canoe Closeup

Bark Canoe Closeup

The images reminded me of a sketch from Thomas Sedgeick Steele's 1882 publication, Canoe and camera : a two hundred mile tour through the Maine forests. A lengthy Maine paddles with the elongated grip is being gripped by "the Sport" in the foreground.  


David said...

Thise paddles in the canvas canoe are some long paddles... I wonder why they used such long paddle, I understand that they are great for when standing in the canoe, but I would have thought that they would have had a shorter paddle for when sitting. After all they most likely made these them self...

Murat said...

I think they were left over from the Native tradition in the area. Plus those early canoes had no seats just like birchbark canoes so the bow paddlers often sat in the hull. This was better for the more experience guides since their passengers often where inexperienced and sitting down in the hull made the canoes more stable. But it meant the need for longer paddles to reach the water. It also meant a more "inefficient" horizontal stroke when compared to today's methods but it got the job done for their needs, I guess.

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