The pelts of American beavers are valuable in the fur trade and are largely used in making coats and hats. During the first several centuries of the European colonization of North America, beaver pelts were one of the most important natural resources to be exported from the northern regions of that continent.

How much was a beaver pelt worth in the 1800s?

6.6 shillings per pelt

The Prices of Parchment and Coat Beaver
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 the French want beaver fur?

The fur trade started because of a fashion craze in Europe during the 17th century. Europeans wanted to wear felt hats made of beaver fur. The most important players in the early fur trade were Indigenous peoples and the French. The French gave European goods to Indigenous people in exchange for beaver pelts.

What did Europeans use beaver fur?

For everyday use or costume and decoration, furs have been used for the production of outterware such as coats and cape, garment and shoe lining, a variety of head coverings, and ornamental trim and trappings. Beaver pelts could be made into either full-fur or felted-fur hats.

What were beaver pelts used for in the 1800s?

The most desirable hats throughout much of the world were made from beaver felt, and their popularity meant an insatiable demand for beaver pelts. The demand did not slow until the American beaver also became scarce by the mid-19th century — and silk hats became popular.

Why is beaver fur so valuable?

The pelts of American beavers are valuable in the fur trade and are largely used in making coats and hats. During the first several centuries of the European colonization of North America, beaver pelts were one of the most important natural resources to be exported from the northern regions of that continent.

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