Trade Axe

Description
This “trade axe” was used in trade between the British merchants and Native American trappers during the mid-19th century. The axe has a single piece of curled iron on a wooden handle. Beaver fur trading was central to the North American economy from the 16th until to the mid-19th century. British traders exchanged one beaver pelt for one axe head. The pelt was sold in England for 16 shillings, while the trade axe cost a mere 2 shillings to buy, leading to a massive profit for the traders, and the associated Hudson’s Bay Company, who monopolized the beaver fur trade in North America.
ID Number
AG.77A11.6
accession number
1977.0665
catalog number
77A11.6
See more items in
Work and Industry: Hand Tools
Agriculture
American Enterprise
Exhibition
American Enterprise
Exhibition Location
National Museum of American History
Data Source
National Museum of American History, Kenneth E. Behring Center

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