Firearms of the Fur Trade
Winner of the gold medal for best reference book from the 2012 Independent Publisher Book Awards.
Firearms of the Fur Trade is Volume I of the Museum’s new research and publishing project, a six-volume Encyclopedia of Trade Goods. It is 600 pages long and contains 1,500 illustrations, most in color, of long guns and pistols made for the fur companies to trade to Indian and white customers or as government gifts throughout North America. The book encompasses the results of seventy years of research, including historical studies and archeological investigations from across the continent. It draws together the all significant information currently available about Dutch, French, Belgian, British, and American fur trade arms. Illustrated examples include firearms from public and private collections in Sweden, Belgium, Britain, Canada and the US. The work provides pioneering analysis of the origins of the firearms trade, the value and use of guns by American natives, and how they changed the indigenous cultures and the nature of hunting, diplomacy and warfare. It establishes chronological typologies of government contract weapons and debunks the myths about guns being of little use when compared to native arms.