Who built my fiberglass birch bark canoe

Just bought a used 13’ fiberglass canoe with a birch bark paint design. The only identification I can find on it is a tag on the bow which reads “Birch bark Design Pat. 74__34.” The middle two digits are illegible. Can’t tell how old it is. I’d love to learn more about this boat. Does anybody know who manufactured it? Thank you for any leads.

Could be American Fiberlite.
They used the birch bark paint pattern on many of their boats.

I had a 12’ tandem that was about 60 lbs. I think that it was about 30" wide. It had a keel. It was “chopper gun” fiberglass construction.

Additional info
The width is about 35 inches. It is a tandem (two-seater) and the only floatation material is foam located under both seats. The fibers are visible in the boat’s interior and appear to have a rather random distribution, as opposed to being aligned the way they might be if it were constructed from a woven fiberlass cloth. This fits your idea that it may have been manufactured using a chopper gun, which I understand chops fibers and sprays them to reduce the labor associated with hand laying of cloth but offers a less desirable strength-to-weight ratio.

The friend who sold it to me said if it turns out to be a garage sale Van Gogh, I owe him an extra $50. I’ll just be happy to know whatever I can learn about it.

Chopper gun boats are Jackson Pollack

american fiberlite
If it’s one of these, and likely is, it’s an ok pond boat. But use care, they are barely strong enough for any use, they are quite fragile. Have had to repair several of these when someone broke them.

You’re right btw, a chopper gun mixes resin with chopped strands of fiberglass (actually cuts the fiberglass from a roll of roving as it’s working) and sprays it into a mold, has to be rolled out afterwards as it’s quite rough after being sprayed. They tend to be very resin rich and thus aren’t very strong, specially in something as light as a canoe.

Bill H.

Thanks for the info
This boat is for a light teenager to use in lakes and gentle rivers, so I expect its durability will suffice, and the light weight will make loading/unloading easy.

I abused mine on shallow, rocky rivers
for a couple years before I got a more appropriate boat. Sure, it softened a little on the bottom with all of the sliding over logs and rocks that I did, but I’ve never had a better boat for the money that I paid for that one, which was my first.

It was only 12’ long and weighed 60 lbs, so I don’t miss it.