People first started using canoes in the late 1800s. “The earliest commercial builder of wood-and-canvas canoes appears to be Evan H. Gerrish of Bangor, Maine. Gerrish, a hunting and fishing guide from Brownwille, Maine, who came to Bangor in 1875 … started experiments with a wood-and-canvas building system. … by 1878 Gerrish was regularly producing about 18 canoes a year at his shop at 18 Broad Street. By 1882 he had hired his first employee and was building about 25 canoes a year at the average price of $25 each.”
The oldest known canoe, which is also the oldest known boat, is a canoe dug up in a bog in the Netherlands. The canoe dates from 8040-7510 B.C. and is made of a scots pine log that was probably holllowed out by flint axes. It’s likely that people were using canoes much earlier, but no examples survive.
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