Tuesday, September 23, 2014

HBC Scarlet Paddle

A previous post describes the dimensions of Voyageur Paddles typically used by canoemen of the Hudson's Bay Company. It appeared in an article in the HBC's company journal, The Beaver. The September 1922 edition features a fur trade canoe with narrow paddles and an improvised sail from a scarlet red HBC point blanket.

Improvised sail with HBC point blanket

The 2nd episode of the marvelous documentary, Northern Wilderness by Ray Mears features a scene with typical trade goods laid out upon a similar point blanket. That vivid scarlet colour really stands out against the wilderness setting. Here's a screenshot from that Youtube clip

To capitalize on that nostalgia, HBC is now showcasing some paddles decorated with their iconic scarlet blanket theme.

HUDSON'S BAY COMPANY Scarlet 60 inch Paddle

This isn't the only HBC canoe gear that the company is marketing. This post from 2012 mentions how the company commissioned Langford Canoe to make some cedar canvas boats with their equally iconic multi-stripe pattern. Apart from the pretty decoration, these actual paddles don't interest me much. 

However, one mystery "HBC paddle" that I'm still trying to source out, is this one from New Brunswick which was etched with the initials HBC (see full post here). 

Mystery Malecite Paddle 

HBC carved into the grip

If anyone recognizes it or has more details, feel free to contact me...

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