Everything you need to know about the hat-making aspect of the fur trade
is provided in what remains a unique example of undergraduate essay-writing
in Canadian economic history. What began as a student paper was subsequently
published in a scholarly journal and is still without competition as a
source of information on this peculiar topic! See Crean, J.F., “Hats and
the Fur Trade,” Canadian Journal of Economics and Political Science,
28, August 1962, 373-86.
Early versions of the broad-brimmed beaver felt hat were more extreme in design than the rather refined product depicted here. By the 1840s this type of hat came to be made of silk, which was, surprisingly, cheaper.