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Catalog Data

Dr. Edward Palmer  Search this
Donor Name:
Accession Number Unknown  Search this
Height - Object:
61 cm
Depth - Object:
33 cm
Width - Object:
6 m
Passamaquoddy (Peskotomuhkati)  Search this
Object Type:
Eastport, Washington County, Maine, United States, North America
Collection Date:
1871 to 1873
Reference: H. Collins' Smithsonian Boat Collection Ms. p. 841. Donor and date of donation not recorded for this canoe. It can be speculated that the Edward Palmer canoe catalogued as # E11433 may be the same object later catalogued as # 26615. It can also be speculated that the canoe now called # E160340 may be the Palmer canoe, if the Palmer canoe was indeed full size. E26615 at least appears to have been full size, though the information on E11433 is lacking. Edward Palmer was working for Spencer Baird in Maine 1871 to 1873. Note that canoe E26615 is listed as full size on p. 142 of United States National Museum Bulletin No. 14, "Catalogue of the Collection to Illustrate the Animal Resources and the Fisheries of the United States, exhibited at Philadelphia in 1876 by the Smithsonian Institution and the United States Fish Commission, and forming a part of the United States National Museum", in Smithsonian Miscellaneous Collections Vol. 23, . E26615 is also listed as being used in the International Fishery Exhibition in Berlin in 1880 on p. 104 of USNM Bulletin No. 18. It is described there as a birchbark canoe "... with two Indians [presumably mannequins] fishing. Northern United States." Also, further evidence that canoe the now called E160340 may formerly have been called E26615 is that E160340 appears to be the one shown on display hanging from the ceiling, again with two mannequins inside and again representing a fishing scene (spear/harpoon fishing), at the Ethnology exhibit at the Columbian Historical Exposition in Madrid, Spain, October 31, 1892 - January 31, 1893. The canoe is visible in Smithsonian Institution Archives photos taken at this exposition: SIA2011-1442, Smithsonian Institution Archives, Record Unit 95, Box 64, Folder: 2, ; and SIA2011-1444, Smithsonian Institution Archives, Record Unit 95, Box 64, Folder: 2, . (The mannequins in the canoe appear to be dressed in Innu/Naskapi clothing.) This display is described on p. 184 of United States. Commission to the Madrid exposition, 1892., and United States National Museum.Catalogue of the ethnological exhibit from the United States National Museum. G.P.O, 1892. doi: 10.5479/sil.964271.39088000994111 . The canoe is described there as as birchbark canoe "... made of a large piece of birch bark, attached to a wooden frame; the seams and holes are calked with spruce-pine rosin ... The canoe exhibited was constructed by the Algonkian [Algonquin] Indians of Canada [sic]." No catalogue number is listed for the canoe in the publication.
Canoe is described in U.S. National Museum Bulletin # 127, p. 214: "Birch-bark canoe. Used by the Passamaquoddy tribe of Indians, near Eastport, Me. A sharp-ended, round bottom, keelless canoe with tumble-home top sides; curved ends; good sheer; open, five gunwale braces, made of birch bark sewn together and stretched over a light wooden frame, being sewed with root fiber at the ends and around the gunwales. Dimensions of canoe. - Length, 19 feet 8 inches; beam, 3 feet; depth, 13 inches."
A photo of this canoe on display hanging from the ceiling in the Water Transportation Hall ("Boat Hall") at the Smithsonian U.S. National Museum circa 1890s is in the collections of the Smithsonian Institution Archives: Photo ID 2964 or MAH-2964, Smithsonian Institution Archives, Record Unit 95, Box 43, Folder: 10, .
Record Last Modified:
10 Sep 2018
Specimen Count:
Ethnology  Search this
Accession Number:
USNM Number:
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Data Source:
NMNH - Anthropology Dept.