E.M. White

Years in Business: 
1885 - circa 1940s
Company History: 

Edwin White was one of several prominent canoe builders of Old Town, Maine. Born in 1869, he started building canoes around 1885 at Gilman Falls, Maine. He may have built bark canoes at first, then transitioned to canvas covered canoes, which were developed around that time. In 1895, his brother George and Alfred E. Wickett were working for him. Wickett would go on to help start the Indian Old Town Canoe Company (later just Old Town Canoe Company), and founded the Penobscot Canoe Company and St. Louis Meramec Canoe Company.

White moved his business to Old Town, Maine in 1896, and built canoes into the 1940s. After World War Two, Walter King, one of White’s employees, and his brother-in-law, Pat Farnsworth, purchased the company, changed the name to White Canoe Company, and shortly afterward began to build fiberglass canoes.

Old Town Canoe Company acquired the White Canoe Company in 1984.

Identifying Features: 
  • Decks: White used a variety of deck shapes.
  • Planking: White canoes usually have bevel-edged planking.
  • Seats: The stern seat on earlier Whites have a steam-bent rear seat frame.
  • Gunwale Tips: The tips of the inwales, deck, and outwales extend an inch or so beyond the top of the stem.