Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Getting the Point (a lesson in Canadian history, eh!)

Canada, as a relatively new country which is made up of a blend of so many cultures, has very few things to truly call their own. We are known for our Mounties, hockey, maple syrup and poutine, but today I am going to introduce you to a wee bit of Canadian history that may not be so familiar.

Back in the late 1700s, as Europeans were settling what would become Canada and engaging in fur trade with the Natives at trading posts throughout the inland. One of our founding retailers, the Hudson Bay Company (which still exists today!), introduced woolen blankets that made in England as a regular trade item in exchange for beaver pelts. The blankets were traditionally cream in color with multicolored stripes, and had indigo lines, woven into the side of each blanket, called "points" which indicated the size of the blanket and weight of the wool used to make it so it could be quantified for trade. These "Point Blankets" are a symbol of our history, and can still be purchased at HBC. I had one on my bed growing up! As they are made of 100% felted wool, they are very warm AND very expensive- a 4 point/double size retails for $325.

BUT- lucky, lucky me I found one at a garage sale this summer...for just $15 (and I even managed to negotiate a free skirt along with that!).

So, now that the frost and snow is finding us here and we are hunkering down for the winter, I am toasty warm with my point blanket on my bed!

19 comments:

Lesly said...

ARe you kidding me? An HBC blanket for $15? That is insane and I am so jealous!

Poppyprint said...

LUCKY!!!!!

bethanndodd said...

Thank you for sharing that little bit of Canadian history...I love learning new random tidbits of information. Love the blanket...sounds like you got one heck of a deal! Smiles~Beth

Patti said...

I am so jealous too! $15.00!!!! But you just reminded me to dig mine out of the trunk! We've been pretty darn chilly this week.

Tiara said...

Tell me more about these poutine's they sound delicious

Alli said...

This is just so cool! Yay for your fantastic garage sale find! :)

diane said...

we also had one of these blankets that my parents received as a wedding gift in 1948. If I look hard enough I might still be able to find that blanket, but it is too warm for California.

Alisa said...

That is a good deal! Very warm indeed. I learned about the point blankets at Fort Langley but not until I was an adult. Not sure why I didn't learn it in school.

Lynne said...

Oh, how wonderful to find a beautiful blanket at such a great price.

Shay said...

You forgot Bacon. I love Canadian bacon.

Great blanket at a crazy bargain price. What a find. I bet you were doing the happy dance!

Tawny said...

Congrats on such a great find! I love 'the Bay' blankets! :D

Theophanie said...

Cool! And, what an amazing deal!

Flying Blind... said...

Well done!!

Leila said...

Love it! We have an old restored HBC fort in WA where I grew up and I loved going into the old trading post and seeing the blankets and pelts. When I grow up I want to work at a living history museum. :)

Rachel said...

Wow! What a great find! I've always wanted an HBC blanket but the cost is prohibitive. Obviously not if you're in the right place at the right time...

Cathy said...

total score! My mum found one at a thrift store in Las Vegas of all places a few years ago while snow-birding.

felicity said...

Jellus!

Little Blue Mouse said...

Thanks for that bit of Canadian history, and what a good find for you!

Barb said...

Great find! I have a couple that are in pretty rough shape that I plan to turn into pillows.