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Many of the thousands of visitors who come through the museum each year have seen this artifact in the museum’s “It Wasn’t All Work” gallery, and at least some of them have probably gone away thinking, “That’s a canoe? Doesn’t look like any canoe I’ve ever seen before.”
It is indeed a canoe, but it needs a little explanation, so here’s some background. This is a canoe called “Widgeon,” built by the William English Canoe Company in the early 20th century. She’s a sailing canoe, of a particular type known as a 16-30, which I’ll talk about in a minute. The reason she might not look like any canoe you’ve ever seen before is that she has about as much to do with the canoe hanging in your garage as the Toyota in your driveway has to do with a Formula 1 race car: that is, not very much. Read the rest of this entry »