This is the story of the canoe, that singular American artifact so little changed over time. Featured here are canoes old and new, from birch bark to dugout to carbon fiber; the people who made them; and the adventures they shared. With features of technology, industry, art, and survival, the canoe carries us deep into the natural and cultural history of North America.
The setting of a frame for a birch-bark canoe involved preparing the ground, driving in stakes, and sliding in the bark and attaching a frame in the general shape of the boat. Photograph taken ca. 1885 at an Ojibwe camp.