Photography

Public Domain Canoe and Kayak Images

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I always enjoy looking through old canoeing and kayaking images. They remind me that people have been paddling for a long time–what we do isn’t new, because it’s been around for thousands of years. It reminds me that our recreational activity links us to all those back through time that have enjoyed it. They enjoyed adventure as much as we do. It also reminds me how much better we look doing it now; look at some of the goofy outfits worn by paddlers of the past.

My two favorite locations are on Flickr’s The Commons, which has a small but interesting collection, and Minnesota Historical Society’s Visual Resource Database. Every once in a while, a Google image search results in good finds. Below are a few interesting pictures from our paddling past.

Alton Smith and Al Zaebst loading a captured alligator into their canoe: Weeki Wachee River, Florida

Title: [Alton Smith and Al Zaebst loading a captured alligator into their canoe : Weeki Wachee River, Florida]
Date: Photographed on December 13, 1948.

Thousand Islands, ON, about 1915

Thousand Islands, ON, about 1915
Wm. Notman & Son
About 1915, 20th century

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Mrs. Cotter kayaking on the North West River, Hamilton Inlet, Labrador, NL, 1909

M2000.113.6.223
Mrs. Cotter kayaking on the North West River, Hamilton Inlet, Labrador, NL, 1909
Hugh A. Peck
1909, 20th century

Ojibwe women and children in a canoe. Photographer: Charles Alfred Zimmerman (1844-1909) Photograph Collection, Carte-de-visite ca. 1885

Ojibwe women and children in a canoe.
Photographer: Charles Alfred Zimmerman (1844-1909)
Photograph Collection, Carte-de-visite ca. 1885

Crossing to St. Helen's Island, near Montreal, QC, 1875

Crossing to St. Helen’s Island, near Montreal, QC, 1875
Alexander Henderson
1875, 19th century