Repository logo

Shopping in the late nineteenth century : the Hudson's Bay Company and its transition from the fur trade to retailing

dc.contributor.advisorKennedy, Margareten_US
dc.contributor.committeeMemberFoley, Chrisen_US
dc.contributor.committeeMemberMeyer, Daviden_US
dc.contributor.committeeMemberZellar, Garyen_US
dc.creatorSchmidt, Jenniferen_US 2011en_US
dc.description.abstractThe South Battleford Project began in 1972 with salvage excavations in the historic town of Battleford, Saskatchewan. This work encompassed a Hudson’s Bay Company (HBC) post in operation from 1876-1885 at which time it was burned down during the North-West Resistance. Although the store was raided and subsequently set on fire, the excavated cellar depression revealed many of the types of goods that would have been available to the community during the late nineteenth century. The catalogue and classification of artifacts from these Battleford excavations are completed in this thesis, along with a historical reconstruction for the study area. The data from the South Battleford Project are also used to examine the HBC’s transition from fur trading to retailing during the late 1800s. Very little research has been done in this area of Canadian history, especially when compared to the vast amounts of data gathered on the preceding fur trade era. As Battleford was the capital of the North-West Territories (1876-1883) and later played a role in the North-West Resistance, the town has an important place in the history and development of western Canada. Therefore, this archaeological site has significant value and adds to the extensive historical reconstruction done at the National Historic Site of Fort Battleford. This research provides a glimpse into the economic environment surrounding Battleford and the western Canadian plains in the late nineteenth century. Although the HBC had successfully accommodated to the demands of the native trade they were slow in adapting to the growing Euro-Canadian market on the western plains. Increasingly, local competition began to emerge in the form of general retailing, further inspired by the ability to obtain cheap goods from wholesalers in Winnipeg. The HBC, still operating out of London, struggled to keep up with shifting trends and technologies and thus lost much of the local business. Maintenance of long distance trade networks further inhibited efficient supply routes and delayed the arrival of goods at western posts. Together through the use of archaeological remains and historic documents, the Battleford economic environment is reconstructed, including the HBC’s struggle to compete for the local trade. It is thus demonstrated that prior to the development of HBC department stores in the 1890s, this long established trading company was slow in profiting from the emerging retail business in the Canadian west.en_US
dc.subjectHudson's Bay Companyen_US
dc.subjectlate fur tradeen_US
dc.subjectNorth-West Resistanceen_US
dc.subjectnineteenth century shoppingen_US
dc.titleShopping in the late nineteenth century : the Hudson's Bay Company and its transition from the fur trade to retailingen_US
dc.type.materialtexten_US and Anthropologyen_US of Saskatchewanen_US of Arts (M.A.)en_US


Original bundle
Now showing 1 - 1 of 1
Thumbnail Image
6.23 MB
Adobe Portable Document Format
License bundle
Now showing 1 - 1 of 1
No Thumbnail Available
1009 B
Plain Text