What was the beaver skin trade?
The fishermen traded metal items for beaver robes made of sewn-together, native-tanned beaver pelts. These castor gras (in French) became prized by European hat makers in the second half of the 16th century, as they converted the pelts to felt.
What kind of pelts were used in the fur trade?
Beaver pelts were divided into two major categories in the fur trade: coat beaver and parchment. Coat beaver ( castor gras) pelts had been processed and worn for a season by hunters — usually Aboriginal peoples — before being traded.
Why did Europeans come to Europe for beaver hats?
A lot of the beavers were decimated in Europe, so that’s why they were coming over here to get it. A brand new beaver pelt has long hair, so the Europeans would pluck the long hair to get down to the pelt.
Did Europeans trade for pelts?
The fur trade began in the 1500’s as an exchange between Indians and Europeans. The Indians traded furs for such goods as tools and weapons. Beaver fur, which was used in Europe to make felt hats, became the most valuable of these furs. Today, almost all trappers sell their pelts.
What did Europe trade for fur?
The first Europeans to purchase furs from Indians were French and English fishermen who, during the 1500s, fished off the coast of northeastern Canada and occasionally traded with the Indians. In exchange, the Indians received European-manufactured goods such as guns, metal cooking utensils, and cloth.
How much did a beaver pelt cost in the 1800s?
From 1713 to 1726, before the carotting process had become established, coat beaver generally fetched a higher price than parchment beaver, averaging 6.6 shillings per pelt as compared to 5.5 shillings.
Why did trappers want beaver pelts?
Castor gras pelts had been worn by Native American trappers for the hunting season and as a result of the sweat and body oil, were more pliable and easier to felt. Beaver felts were used to make beaver hats. Hats, like other forms of dress, played a large role in reflecting one’s social identity.
How did beaver pelts contribute to the Canadian economy?
Beaver pelts were an integral part of the early Canadian fur trade economy. Beaver pelts were an integral part of the early Canadian fur trade economy. Aboriginal and European hunters supplied trade networks that capitalized on the popularity of beaver pelts in European markets.
Why was there a high demand for beaver pelts in Europe?
Over the next century, the rising demand for beaver pelts was a result of a number factors including population growth, a greater export market, a shift toward beaver hats from hats made of other materials, and a shift from caps to hats.
Is beaver pelt waterproof?
They produce an oil called castor oil that they rub through their fur with a split toenail called a grooming claw, making their fur water proof. The waterproof fur keeps the skin dry and warm while the beaver is immersed in cold water.
How much is a beaver pelt worth today?
Most beaver will continue to average $10-14 regardless of where they are produced. There is a possibility, however, to see some upside in this market if some of the traditional uses for beaver start to come back in style with fewer ranch mink pelts on the market.
How much was a beaver pelt worth in the 1800s?
Long story short, the $2 value of a beaver pelt of 1837 would be something like $48 today. And the $7.50 that HBC might have received in London works out to about $176 in today’s money.
Where did the Beaver come from for the fur trade?
Coincident with the decline in European beaver stocks was the emergence of a North American trade. North American beaver ( castor canadensis) was imported through agents in the English, French and Dutch colonies.