Peterborough Canoe Company

Years in Business: 
1892 - 1961
Company History: 

The Peterborough Canoe Company was formed in 1892 in Peterborough, Ontario, just weeks before the Ontario Canoe Company burned down in May 1892. Col. James Z. Rogers, former president, general manager and one-third owner of the Ontario Canoe Company, owned 4% of the new company and became manager in 1893. The company continued to build the wide-board, cedar strip and cedar rib canoes much like the Ontario Canoe Company had before them.

The Peterborough Canoe Company purchased the William English Canoe Company in 1915, and continued to offer English canoes. In 1923, the Peterborough Canoe Company and Chestnut Canoe Company were collected together under Canadian Watercraft Limited, which also acquired the Canadian Canoe Company in 1928.

The Peterborough Canoe Company closed its doors in 1961.

Serial Numbering: 
  • Old Serial Number Style — One, two or three digit number. Often found stamped on a brass plate.
  • New Serial Number Style — Typical number consists of 4 + 4 digits and is found stamped in the stems. One set of digits represents the model number. The four digit model number (starting with 14xx or 15xx) was adopted sometime between 1940 and 1941. Thus, any Peterborough with this serial number scheme was built no earlier than 1940 (this date will be revised as more catalogs become available).
References: 
  • Brown, Ken. 2011. The Canadian Canoe Company & the Early Peterborough Canoe Factories. Cover to Cover.
  • Marsh, John. 1985. The Heritage of Peterborough Canoes. In Hodgins, Bruce W. and Margaret Hobbs, editors. Nastawgan: The Canadian North by Canoe & Snowshoe. Betelgeuse Books.
  • Stephenson, Gerald F. 1987. John Stephenson and the Famous “Peterborough Canoes”. Occasional Paper No. 8, Peterborough Historical Society.