Hudson's Bay point blanket
“Famous the world over, for a lifetime of luxurious comfort and warmth,” boasted the Hudson’s Bay Company, which made these blankets a regular trade item in 1780. The short black lines woven into the side of each blanket are called points, from the French empointer, and indicate the size and weight of the item. The now iconic blanket is shown here in a 1950s Beaver ad with the traditional colours of green, red, yellow, and indigo.
Scroll down to the very bottom to view our Photo Gallery of commercial art depicting Hudson's Bay point blankets 1930 – 1958.
In The Beaver
90 years ago — Perilous journey
Excerpts from the diary of Christy Harding, HBC’s post manager at York Factory, are featured in the October 1920 issue. The article “Bucking the Ice-Floes in Late Summer Trip From York to Severn” describes a “quick voyage” to deliver supplies that became a week-long journey. From July 30 to August 4, 1920, the crew and passengers aboard the Fort York were forced to put out fires, dodge ice floes, and wait out storms.
60 years ago — Beautiful British Columbia
Nine photographs by Richard Harrington, titled “In the Valley of the Peace,” capture the beauty of the Peace River area in central British Columbia. With descriptions by Lyn Harrington, the June 1950 issue shows the mighty river, with its rugged chasms and picturesque fishing holes. It also includes photos of people like the “old ferryman” and a poignant image of a First Nations mother and child.
30 years ago — Spreading the word
The Winter 1980 story “The Mission at Ile-à-la-Crosse” tells of two young Roman Catholic priests sent to a remote Hudson’s Bay Company post. “They sent me children!” post manager J.N. Provencher cried upon seeing them. This drawing, done on onion skin by Louis Riel’s sister, Sara, shows the mission in 1874, when she worked in the school and hospital at Ile-à-la-Crosse, Saskatchewan.