Here at bolertrailerhistory.ca we highly recommend that every individual interested in Boler history conduct their own research, gather their own information, and come to their own conclusions regarding Boler history facts vs Boler folklore.
On this site we have endeavored to represent Boler history as it relates directly to documented and corroborated sources from the pre-internet era such as archived newspaper clippings, publications, and publicly available government documents.
Researching facts and folklore
Boler history folklore doesn't necessarily mean the information conveyed is not truthful, however since the rise of internet social media in 1999 certain claims have been made over the many years that are difficult, if not impossible to corroborate or connect to any pre-internet documented sources.
It's seems likely that over 100 Boler Flat Tops were made
Popular folklore suggests that the first 100 bolers produced were Flat Tops. This is a Flat Top #038
Facts or Folklore?
The first 40 Boler units were recalled to fit them with ensolite insulation.
This story has circulated the internet for well over a decade now and appears to have come from a single post from an old Oo.cities.org website. Oo.cities was the internet's very first social media blog that started in 1999. The site was dismantled quite a few years ago. The story that appeared in the blog said that the initial 40 Boler units made were later recalled to be fitted with ensolite insulation due to condensation.
Recent research has found an owner of #65 unit build who reports via a Boler Group that ensolite insulation was still not installed on his #65 unit Boler. Further research on Fiberglass RV forum displays a member post that reads, quote - " I'm new to the boards so thought I would say a quick hello. Along the right side of the frame (along the tongue) shows a metal plate displaying 081. There are no other no.'s anywhere else on the frame or inside the Boler. Would this be the vin number? What I do know is, my grandparents were the 2nd owners, it has a flat roof and was built with no insulation. It has always been registered/insured as a '69.
Maybe someone else out there has a similar style of number and if so, is it registered as a '68 or '69?"
Any feedback helps
The very same Oo.cities article went on to say that Ray Olecko convinced Uniroyal (the ensolite manufacturer) to "shave" down their 2 inch thick ensolite to 3/16" so that it could be installed in the Boler. Our research of ensolite shows that it has been around since the 1950's and used in Korean war U.S. military boots. In addition, ensolite was easily made available to owners of early 1960's station wagon cars in order to line the bed of their wagons for camping purposes. It came in various thicknesses including 3/16".
This highly suggests that the recall story and the ensolite 'shave down' story are likely to be folklore.
Boler moved from a 4,000 sq. ft. facility to a 30,000 sq. ft. facility.
Some internet sites you might visit will say that Boler Manufacturing moved from a 4,000 sq. ft. facility on Higgins Avenue to 30,000 sq. ft. at 770 Dufferin Avenue. The more accurate account is that Boler moved from 4,000 sq. ft. into a 30,000 sq. ft. building at 770 Dufferin but occupied 8,000 sq. ft. of it. The move from 4,000 sq. ft. to 8,000 sq. ft. is referenced in a Winnipeg Free Press news article of the day.
This makes logical sense as Boler Manufacturing would not require 30,000 sq. ft. to triple production at the time. They would need about 8,000 sq. ft. We put this story in the folklore/mystery category.
First one hundred Bolers were made with a flat roof.
This story has long been debated on Fibreglass RV forums for nearly a decade ever since the aforementioned Oo.cities.org blog was posted around the year 1999. The blog said that the first 100 Bolers made had a flat roof.
Over the years, owners of Flat Top Bolers would produce photos of frame stamps indicating flat-top numbers as high as 195. In a struggle to try to make the story authentic, some Boler Owners posted that they had heard that the factory, in the very beginning, started their count at 100 and went up from there. After a decade the debate still goes on with no evidence to the fact. Because of this, we put the Flat Top story in the category of folklore.
Boler's production count was 10,000 units total 1968 - 1988
As mentioned on our home page, there exists no running factory records, logs or data in which to reveal an accurate account of how many Bolers were ever built. Historians have tried to piece together best 'guesstimates' from snippits of intermediate archived news clippings and publications available. Someday perhaps these records will be found. Until then the estimate of 10,000 total units made should be considered as folklore.
Ray Olecko and the famous Manitoba Orbit Trash Receptacle - Is there really a connection?
It's been asserted in some history circles that Winnipeg inventor Ray Olecko helped to design the famous fibreglass Orbit trash receptacles that once appeared along Manitoba highways in the 1960s. However to date, there appears to be no supporting documentation that can be found to help corroborate this particular assertion.
The Orbit trash receptacle, in fact, was originally designed solely by a man named Peter Boychuk, a provincial traffic sign technician who worked for the Manitoba Highways Department. The 1.3 meter diameter orbs were manufactured by Duraplex Products Ltd. of Winnipeg which went out of business in 1968 and the original Orbit moulds went up for public auction along with other equipment. It appears that for a period of time after 1968, Structural Glass Ltd. (a former employer of Ray Olecko) continued manufacturing the Orbit, however this would be around the time Olecko and partners started their Boler trailer company. It could be possible that Olecko helped to re-design the Orbit in some shape or fashion but there seems to be no found documentation connecting Ray Olecko with the Orbit Trash Receptacle in any way other than interesting folklore. Here is a link to a YouTube video about the Orbit's true designer Peter Boychuk
The claim that the last Boler was built by Advanced Fibreglass Ltd. is folklore.
In regard to any internet claims that Advanced Fibreglass Ltd. was a manufacturer of bolers in Ontario, it appears to be a highly questionable account of history and cannot yet be verified as a fact. This is why it appears here in the folklore section.
The source of this internet claim appears to have originated from a Fiberglass RV forum comment that was connected to this unofficial looking registration plate. The plate appears to be a generic blank that has the information entered in by hand using a pen marker rather than a stamp.
The correct name for the company that built the last Ontario bolers in 1988 was Midhurst Fiberglass Ltd.
Other boler folklore on the web
This is a photo from Fiberglass RV forum from a member post. It describes what the owner believes to be a bogus 1991 stamped plate that someone had previously attached to his 1988 boler Voyageur.
Midhurst Fiberglass Ltd. closed it's doors in 1988 when the last boler Voyageur was built, making this plate highly suspicious, but fun folklore none the less.
Folklore Or Fact - The reader should ultimatley decide.
Discovering new Boler history, finding out new facts, and challenging current facts can be a fun hobby for people of all ages. We encourage you to become a Boler history buff and help bring new info to the forefront of boler history research. There is still much to explore and to uncover.