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Object Name Canoe
Date 1888-1888
Artist A. Bain & Co.
Maker A. Bain & Co., Clayton, NY
Material Wood
Used Raquette Lake and Long Lake
Description Strip-built open paddling canoe with yoke.
Length: 11'11", Beam: 28 3/4" Weight: 40 lbs

The noted New York physician Arpad Gerster used this boat for solo trips through the Adirondacks from bases at his camps on Raquette Lake and Long Lake. He took to the waterways alone to avoid the "annoyance...suffered through the impatience of the guides, who were always in a `stew' to reach the next hotel on the route, where `grub' was awaiting them." His kit included a tent of raw China Silk and a fly made by David Abercrombie, a pair of Jaeger blankets, an air pillow, a two-pound ax, a sheath knife, a rifle, and a cooking kit of aluminum. "In 1888 aluminum was a precious metal; but, undaunted, I ordered a nest of four kettles, the largest one holding two quarts. They cost $12.00, but were worth the price," he reported.*
Gerster's canoe also came with a set of floorboards and a yoke into which he carved, in Latin, the legend "It is light because it is well borne, 1887."
The Peterborough canoe builders are the best-known nineteenth-century users of strip planking, but other builders experimented with it, too. A. Bain and Company differed from the Peterborough builders in that they used planks that were hollowed on one edge and rounded on the other. After the planks were fitted together they were edge-fastened.
Notes see Arpad Gerster, Recollections of a New York Surgeon, 172.
Dimensions W-2.396 L-11.077 feet
Collection BBB120
People Gerster, Arpad Geyza
Search Terms boats and boating
Long Lake
Raquette Lake
Catalog Number 1956.061.0003A
Other number AM 2564, cat. 17
Imagefile 051\1956.061.0003A COLOR.JPG
Species Canoe
Owned by Gerster, Arpad