Help IDing a very old boat propeller

Rick Dangerous

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Sep 12, 2018
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Hello All! Did do some metal detecting this weekend but that's not how this was found!

This was found on Missisquoi bay recently up in Highgate springs. It was dragged from the muck when a sailboat was being pulled out.

It’s a three blade prop, with very antiquated blade design, made of what appears to be iron. It’s about a foot and a half or two feet in diameter. This was the only and closest thing I could find to it in design online.

The “Philadelphia Wheel” propeller: The Propeller Indiana?s ?Philadelphia Wheel? | National Museum of American History

I believe there were lumber barges operating on Missisquoi bay throughout the 1800’s. Based on my research, the propeller probably dates from 1840-1880, as propeller design had standardized by the 1880’s. Then again, some guy could have welded it together in a shed in the 1950's for all I know.

Is there anyone on the site who knows old boats/props who could tell me more about it?

Thanks,

-Rick
 

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Hawks88

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Aug 26, 2012
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That’s a real cool find Rick. I can’t date it or know anything about it but I’m sure someone will soon. Congrats on the find.
 
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Rick Dangerous

Rick Dangerous

Jr. Member
Sep 12, 2018
34
75
St. Albans, VT
Detector(s) used
Garrett AT Pro
Primary Interest:
All Treasure Hunting
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I thought it was a cool find. It's bigger than it looks in the picture, I wish i'd put a dollar bill or something in the picture for context.

I've also been around boats my whole life, and have NEVER seen a prop shaped like this. It's a very rudimentary design, which makes me believe it's quite old (pre-1880). I also can't find any like it on the internet, except for the one four blade in the link above. Most props were brass and oval shaped by the 1880's so this being cast iron with square ends is pretty unique.

I emailed the Lake Champlain Maritime Museum with the picture so if/when i hear back I will post an update!
 

A2coins

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Cool find hope its an old antique!!!!!! Someone must have been up a Bay with out a propeller lol
 

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