Simpsons was acquired by HBC in , but the stores in the chain continued to operate under the Simpsons banner for over a decade. In , the Montreal area stores were folded into The Bay, with Toronto following suit in Can you help me? The collection can be discovered throughout this website as well as on our Twitter and Instagram feeds.
If you want to request a specific image, you can do this through our website at: How big was HBC at its largest extent? Does HBC make its own products? We do not manufacture anything ourselves; we are strictly retailers.
Today, these products are primarily apparel and housewares. Beaver pelts were such a valuable commodity that HBC preferred to trade for what was known as Made Beaver. This unit represented the estimated value of a prime beaver pelt — flesh removed, stretched, properly tanned and ready for trade — on the London market, and it served as a standard accounting unit. What is it and is it valuable?
This is a fur trade token, which was used by HBC as a means of indicating credit against future purchases held by an individual trapper. The denomination of a token — such as 5 MB — means it was equivalent in value to five Made Beaver. A trapper would present all his furs at once, and if he did not purchase their full equivalent in trade goods, he would be issued tokens as change. Tokens came in varying denominations and were in use as late as in the eastern Arctic.
HBC Heritage is not in a position to advise on the value of any item. If you have questions about the value of an item in your possession, we suggest that you contact a professional appraiser, like the American Society of Appraisers. What is The Beaver magazine? For years, it was much like any other internal newsletter, featuring a lot of material on sales events, marriages, births, store happenings, and news. It also always contained articles about HBC history. By the s, The Beaver had expanded to embrace Canadian history as a whole, with a particular focus on the north.
Does HBC have a presence in England anymore? In , the Corporate Office relocated to Toronto, while the Registered Office remained in Winnipeg until , when it was also relocated to Toronto. Points are the short lines woven into the side of each blanket just above the bottom bar or set of stripes. They are about 10 centimetres 4 inches in length, unless they are half points, in which case they are 5 centimetres 2 inches in length.
The sizes of blankets have shifted over time, particularly during the 20th century as beds became larger. Today, HBC offers blankets in the following sizes: There is a persistent misconception that the points were originally an indication of the blanket price in beaver pelts.
However, this was merely coincidental. The larger sized blankets weigh more and thus have always cost more; however, thickness and quality are the same blanket to blanket. This remains true today, except in the case of the caribou throw — a fringed afghan-sized blanket which is of a lighter weight than the bedding blankets. It also has narrower stripes than the blanket, scaled down appropriately for its smaller size.
What do the colours of the stripes mean? There is no intentional meaning behind the coloured stripes. The four traditional colours green, red, yellow, and indigo were simply colours that were popular and easily produced using good colourfast dyes at the time that the multistripe blanket was introduced around Where are Point Blankets made today? How can I determine the age of my blanket?
The blanket label is the best tool to date a blanket: The colour and size of the blanket are also extremely telling. While HBC Heritage is not in a position to advise on the age of any blanket, here are a few general guidelines: Early labels were usually red on white and fairly consistent in size, being roughly 4 x 6 centimetres 1.
By the s, the label size changed to about 9 x 7. Bilingual labels were introduced in Factors affecting value include age, size, colour, rarity, and condition.
Can I wash my blanket? How should I take care of it? Yes, you can wash your blanket. The trick is in the drying: Then lay it out flat to dry, preferably in the shade on your lawn.
Since this is pretty difficult to accomplish for most people, dry cleaning is the recommended care. With normal use, your blanket ought not to need dry cleaning very often. But be sure to dry clean: If you have recently acquired a second-hand blanket, to ensure that no moth eggs infest it, or If the blanket is one of the pastel colour series. Brush your blanket occasionally to raise the nap and dislodge any foreign particles which might be trapped in the fibres.
Store it in a cedar chest or closet preferred when not in use to protect it from moth damage. If this is not possible, wrap the blanket securely in an old bed sheet or pair of cotton pillowcases; do not store in plastic or vinyl as you risk damage from humidity. Store folded or hung from a hanger, but if storing the blanket for any period of time, be sure to occasionally re-fold it so creases do not become permanent.
With proper care, there is no reason why your blanket should not last for decades — or even longer. Continue until no further transfer of material to the towel is apparent. If the stain remains, proceed to the next step. Apply a small amount, blot or tamp and repeat until the stain is removed.
Complete removal may require repeating the same step several times. Tamp down on the blanket; do not scrub as this may distort the texture of the pile. Cover the stain with the towel and press down repeatedly to absorb the stain material and detergent. Once the stain is completely removed, rinse the area with cold water; blot with a dry white terry towel until all moisture is removed.
Repeat this process several times to remove cleaning solution residue. Residue can attract soils. If the spot or stain turns brownish when dry, mix 1 part white vinegar and two parts water.
Apply a small amount and blot. Never use a stronger concentration than is recommended. Never use laundry detergent or automatic dish washing detergents because they may destroy or dye some fibres. Never use non-volatile solvents as they can cause delamination in synthetic carpets either immediately or over a period of time.
Non-volatile solvents do not dissipate at room temperature and will remain in your blanket. Instead apply the solvent to a white terry towel and blot the stained area. Never use highly combustible solvents such as gasoline or paint thinners.
As to repair and care, our blanket expert recommends invisible weaving to address small tears. This service is often provided by dry cleaning and tailoring establishments. Fraying is not an uncommon problem, although typically it is more of an issue with older blankets. In fact, our blankets are woven about one and a half times their final width and are shrunk to their final size as part of the manufacturing process.
This ensures a very tight weave, which not only provides superior warmth and insulation but also resists fraying. That being said, it does sometimes occur, especially if they have been washed many times. Normally, removing that single thread is sufficient to stabilize the condition and will not contribute to further loss. If you are concerned about it, though, a few fine overcast stitches along the edge will help secure the last bit of yarn.
You should use very fine embroidery wool in the same colour as your blanket. Embroidery wool comes in skeins in which multiple strands have been twisted into a single yarn. These are easily separated with the eye of a darning needle. Alternatively, if you do remove a single strand of yarn from the blanket itself, this could be used for overcasting. We recommend hand finishing for this type of repair. What colours have the blankets been made in? Point Blankets were traditionally made in plain red, white, green, or blue fields with single bars of deep indigo near each end.
In the fur trade era, white was by far the most common colour, with bars in indigo, red, or blue. Today, blankets are produced in the following colours: Multistripe Millennium four stripes in shades of brown introduced in White with black bar Green with black bar Grey with black bar My blanket has four sets of stripes and is twice as long as it should be.
Is this a mistake? Blankets are woven on long continuous rolls of about 25 pairs 50 singles to a bolt. Until the s, they were separated into pairs by the manufacturer, and packaged and shipped as pairs. They were separated only at the point of sale. A small nick or cut in the selvage of the blankets was made and the blankets were literally torn apart along the grain — much to the amusement of staff, who loved to surprise unsuspecting buyers!