This is a 19th-century photograph of a Crane paper boat. I don’t know exactly when it was taken, but my best guess is it’s about 1875, and I’m pretty sure it was taken at the E.A. Waters paper boat (yes that’s right) factory in Troy, N.Y. These boats were all the rage at the Saratoga Regattas for quite a while.
This is one example of many where paper was the medium of invention; the go-to material for experimentation. No aluminum, no plastic, no other engineered materials like we have today.
The paper for Waters’ boats was made at Crane mills in Dalton and Westfield, Mass. They also made paper for paper collars, drive belts, hats, wastebaskets, umbrella stands, and (yes) observatory domes.
I’m thinking that I need to team up with a fashion designer to bring back the paper collar, but that’s for another time…..
I know only a tiny bit about paper boats and other similar products, but I know somebody who really knows his stuff. Read on.
And thanks to all of you who have stopped by. I’m having fun, and I hope you are too.