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From Beaver Pelt to Hatters' Felt: The Use and Impact of Canadian Beaver on Britain

Author(s): Michael C Bumsted

Year: 2015

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Historians and archaeologists in North America have expended much energy studying the fur trade.  The role which beaver played in this is especially well discussed, and the importance that it had to European expansion into the North American interior has been thoroughly examined.  The same cannot be said for what happened to the goods Europeans acquired once they took them back to Europe.  Beaver, and the other Hudson’s Bay Company imports, had social and economic impacts on the British end of the fur trade which were equally as widespread as those which took place in North America.

This paper will discuss the benefits an interdisciplinary approach to researching materials like beaver, and the journey it took from the Canadian interior to the streets of European metropoles.  It will also highlight some of the specific findings of my research, including a new perspective on the end of beavers’ fashion dominance.

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From Beaver Pelt to Hatters' Felt: The Use and Impact of Canadian Beaver on Britain. Michael C Bumsted. Presented at Society for Historical Archaeology, Seattle, Washington. 2015 ( tDAR id: 434015)


Temporal Keywords

Spatial Coverage

min long: -141.003; min lat: 41.684 ; max long: -52.617; max lat: 83.113 ;

Record Identifiers

PaperId(s): 333

Arizona State University The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation National Science Foundation National Endowment for the Humanities Society for American Archaeology Archaeological Institute of America