Monday, 22 September 2014

The Beaver - HBC

In October 1920 the Hudson's Bay Company put out it's first issue of their magazine aptly titled "The Beaver". It began as a project for the Company's 250th anniversary and was at first read by mostly employees of HBC. As a feature for the February 1921 issue, the magazine held a baby photo contest - babies of fathers that worked for Hudson's Bay Company.  They mention there was only a limited time to enter, otherwise they would have received more photos. If you have an ancestor born in western Canada about end of 1920 whose father worked for HBC, perhaps their picture is among this "Bevy of Babies"!

Most issues had news from their different posts or stores, including the happenings of their employees. Also photos of people and places. When in 1923 they started adding stories about life in Canada's north, it began to appeal to a wider audience.  

My husband has a copy of the Winter 1975 issue because this issue tells the story about his fur trader ancestor Jean Baptiste Nolin, and how his daughters Angelique and Marguerite started the first girls school in western Canada at St Boniface.
 Clicking on above image opens a pdf of this article
In 1924 it went from a monthly to a quarterly magazine. In 1994 the Hudson's Bay Company donated its archive collection to the province of Manitoba and Canada's National History Society was born. The society took over publication of the magazine and while still titled The Beaver it included "Canada's History Magazine". In 2010 the name changed to "Canada's History".

Relevant Links:

February 1921 Issue of The Beaver

Other Early Issues of The Beaver (several issues from Vol 1)

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