These many mountain men were mostly interested in beaver pelts, which, at the time, were used to make the tall, shiny hats of well-to-do eastern gentlemen. The trappers transported their furs from the Rocky Mountains back to St. LouisMissouriwhere the furs were sold or traded for supplies and equipment needed for the coming year.
Furred garments have been used to keep the body warm during cooler weather since early times, and they have also enabled individuals and groups to exhibit their rising social status.
The bourgeoisie, the elites holding positions of power and authority, the rapidly increasing wealthy mercantilists and industrialists all strived to imitate the nobility in matters of fashion by dressing themselves and their wives in luxurious furs.
The enduring trend in the usage of fur for dress before the end of the 19th century was to line outer clothing with the pelts of animals, and to garnish parts of garments with fur.
Indoor clothing would often be decorated with luxurious furs. Wool, velvet, silk, and damask were the most prevalent fabrics selected in the design of fur- lined, fur-trimmed and fur-edged garments.
The practice of lining clothing with the pelts of animals may have originated from parts of Asia. He adds that in the Sultan Saladin presented Bohemond, Prince of Antioch Antioch is an ancient city situated near present day Antakyn, Turkeywith ceremonial mantles cape-like cloaks lined with the pelts of animals.
He further indicates that when the Crusaders arrived in Palestine in the 14th to 15th centuries, they noted that fur-lined pelisses a type of short jacketwere being marketed in the Holly Land. These pelisses were lined with ermine Babylon skinsgros vair and petit vair the skin of the Northern squirrel, its back being greyish in color and its belly whitedark marten or zibeline, and with red and white fox from the Caspian p.
In Europe during the Middle Ages 5th — 11th centuriesfurs such as marten, ermine, and vair were reserved for lining and decorating princely garments and court dress.
Vair continued to be in high demand by the nobility. Heer points out that ermine, sable, marten, beaver, bear, and lynx were among the most sought after furs throughout the centuries p.
The clothes-conscious who could not afford ermine opted for a less expensive fur known as lettice a small weasel whose winter coat turns white.
The middle classes with limited financial means had to content themselves with cloth and velvet garments decorated with fur Lester,p. The cheaper skins of lamb, sheep, goat, and wolf were generally set aside for the common people Boucher, n. Furred garments, regarded as prized possessions by the professional classes, were occasionally bequeathed to their heirs.
|1 thought on “The Great Fur Trade Companies”||South Dakota Historical Collections New England History 30 June:|
Cunnington and Lucas have researched some of these bequests. In the section which follows we identify some of the most popular furred outerwear designs before the 19th century.
We also make reference to the types of fur accessories in vogue over the centuries. The most popular styles of sleeved outer- garments were known as cloaks, hoopelandes robes and gownsspencer jackets, and pelisses, to name a few.
Outer-garments without sleeves were referred to as mantles, surcoats, and capes, to name a few. Parts of outer-clothing that could be trimmed or edged with fur included collars, necklines and armholes, borders of front openings, hemlines, the lower end of long or short flowing sleeves, and the cuffs of tight fitting sleeves.
Large sleeves lent themselves to a deep turn back of fur Boucher, n. Cloaks were worn as a type of overcoat since early times. A cloak was basically a long, loose fitting, and flowing garment.
Some cloaks were circular in shape, others semi-circular. Cloaks featured full length cape-like sleeves, and collars or hoods.
When lined or trimmed with ermine, they were considered to be luxurious garments. From the 13th century onwards, long cloaks were sometimes referred to as the herigaut, the Witzchoura, and the garnache, to name a few.
The herigaut had a slit below the shoulder in front through which the arm could be slipped, leaving the long full sleeves hanging behind.Native American Indians were the major source of beaver pelts and buffalo hides, for the Canadian, Great Lakes, and upper Missouri River fur trade from the late 17th to the early 19th century.
During most of this period, Native Americans used nets, snares, deadfalls, clubs, etc. to obtain beaver pelts. Fur and Leather Garments in 18th and 19th Century New England by Marge Bruchac, December In 21 st century America, the wearing of fur and leather runs the gamut from practical outerwear to extreme fashion statement.
Depending on the style, a pair of high leather boots may be crafted to preserve one's feet from cold or proclaim one's wealth; a pair of trimmed leather gloves might be made. Exploration of the West in the 19th Century.
American History America Moves Westward Basics Important Historical Figures Timelines & Key Events US Presidents Native American History American Revolution was ostensibly to mark out territories to help the American fur trade.
But the Lewis and Clark Expedition established that the continent. Napoleon appoints a commission to prepare a code of civil law, which becomes known as the Code Napoléon.
Christmas in America During the 19th Century Download MP3 (Right-click or option-click the link.). I'm Steve Ember. And I'm Shirley Griffith with THE MAKING OF A NATION – American history in VOA Special English.
Today we present a special program on Christmas traditions in the United States during the first half of the 19th century. John Jacob Astor was the richest man in America in the early 19th century, having dominated the fur trade, then buying New York real estate.