Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Historic Paddle Photo - Ginger Rogers (1938)

Continuing with some vintage pics of celebrities in canoes, here is a shot of Ginger Rogers using a giant looking beavertail.

Ginger Rogers
Original Source: Tumblr link

Saturday, October 3, 2015

Paddle Art: Birchbark Canoe by Edward Comou

On the search for more paddle related art, I came across this painting on FineArtAmerica.com featuring a bark canoe and a straight sided, Passamaquoddy grip styled paddle...

Birch-bark Canoe
Edward Coumou
Painting - Watercolor
Description by Artist:
An original watercolor loosely inspired by an old photo. I am fascinated with water reflections and the challenge of painting them.

To my eyes, the lines and decoration of the canoe look like something built by well known birchbark craftsman, Steve Cayard...

Steve with 16-foot canoe in 2005, photo by David Quist.

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Motorized Paddle Patent

One of the more bizarre paddle ideas I've come across is this interesting concept of fitting a functional motorized propeller into the paddle blade. I came across this weird concept in Graham Warren's book 100 Canoe Paddle Designs (original post HERE).

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.

Monday, September 28, 2015

Historic Paddle Photo - c1887 Canoe Paddle - Riverside, Mass

An Ebay seller claims to have a silver gelatin original photograph dated to 1887 which features a couple in an elegant canoe. To my eyes it looks to be a very old birchbark canoe since some pitched gores are just visible in the grainy zoomed picture.

Silver Gelatin Original
Riverside, MA c June 19th, 1887
This is an exceptional photograph from the late 1800's
Family of wealthy Bostonian society figure, Mr. Larry Vinton Long, a banker and broker, member of the stock exchange, and curator for museums.

The gentleman in the rear looks to be using a graceful paddle with an elongated grip...

Another photo dated to same time and place is a group shot of paddlers. The seller describes it as "Visiting Neighbors by canoe, Riverside, MA c.1887"

 Silver Gelatin Original
Riverside, MA
c June 19th, 1887

The closeup shot reveals some lovely elegant paddles as well as fancy paddling clothes for the ladies...

Paddle Closeups

If I'm not mistaken, Riverside Massachusetts is near the famed Charles River, where a thriving canoe building industry once existed. Archive.org has a nice little booklet entitled online entitled  Souvenir of the Charles River (1904). While published much later than this purported photo, it shows just how popular recreational canoeing was at the turn of the 20th century. Lots of great vintage photos and ads of early canoe builders as well.

Saturday, September 26, 2015

Cara Jordan Paddle Pyrography

Not sure how I missed this blog post from the Canadian Canoe Museum featuring pyrographic artist Cara Jordan. The post highlights her passion for the wood burning art form and includes some pics of some of her paddle artwork...beautiful stuff!

Cara Jordan Paddles
Photo Credit: CCM

Older Posts