Friday, December 24, 2010

Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas, I hope everyone has a great, safe time. You don't need gifts to make it special, all you need is some laughter, your friends and family, and some of that good olde Christmas spirit!

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Enjoying The Outdoors - Part One.

These photographs are from my personal collection. I will post more later this week or early next week Enjoy.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

HBC Point Blanket. "Pro Pelle Cutem" - "for furs we risk our hides".

Owning point blankets is in my opinion a Canadian tradition. My family has always had one or at least a heavy point style blanket. Currently I have 4 put away in my closet, all from some sort of thrift shop or auction.

The point blanket has been around the Canadian North since 1670 with the traders and trappers swapping their pelt for these finely made English blankets. In the late 1920's the use of the blanket as the most indispensable piece of clothing was coming to a end and the need for beaver felt was slowing. This is the time HBC started marketing them toward sportsmen, Cottages and for home decor. L.L. Bean was one of the first to carry them, and there was even HBC offices in NYC to market them in the States. In the 30's people visiting Canada would by them as souvenirs as they epitomized the Great White North. Still if you head to your local Bay store or even Home outfitters, you can buy these wonderful heirloom blankets.

This is just a blurb of the great history behind this wonderful piece of Canadiana, and I suggest reading "The Blanket" By Harold Tichenor for a more detailed history of the point blanket.

For the person trying to date their blanket only really need to look at the Label sewn on each one.

The earliest of the known labels, the Trademark Type A was used from around 1890 to 1900 .

Around 1930, HBC used the simplified Scroll label for a brief period.

From the late 1940's to the 1960's, HBC issued labels bearing the "100% wool" label. This Type 1 is probably the most common label on older blankets, showing the increased sales in the 50's

This is the big bilingual Label that has been in use for the last 25 years. This is the Type C variant introduced in 2002.

I hope this gives you a bit of insight in to the Point blanket. They are super warm and cozy and nothing screams "Hey, I'm Canadian" like being wrapped up in a Hudson's Bay Blanket.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Gransfors Bruks Custom Axe Sheath.

During this past Summer, My Wife and I did a 6 night canoe trip in Algonquin Park. During this stay I had the pleasure of meeting Colin H., a guide from Algonquin Outfitters. Colin water taxied us up Opeongo Lake for us to begin our trip. During this ride Colin and I struck up a conversation regarding Bushcraft and the tools one needs. Of course out came the talk about Gransfors Bruks and custom knives. Colin mentioned that his Swedish carving axe did not have a belt loop and how this was the only inconvenience of the masterfully crafted tool. I then asked if he would like me to make him one. I just needed a tracing of the blade. So within the month Colin sent me the tracing and I got to work, it took me about a day, and mailed it off to him. Just this past week Colin sent me some picture with the blade. It was a sigh of relief the sheath fit the axe so nicely!

Sunday, December 5, 2010

GWG: Canada's oldest denim Co.

Alfred E. Jackson, and Charles A. Graham established the Great Western Garment Company (GWG) on January 30, 1911, with a strong belief in the future of the young city. They also recognized the need for a supply of functional, hard-wearing clothing for the province's growing workforce.

GWG made great denim of highest quality, the Royal Albert Museum's web site has a great web page devoted to GWG and the history from start to Levi's taking over to eventually Levi's deciding to close all plants in Canada.

Here is the link to the web page (Royal Albert Museum) that has pdf's of back catalogs and some great pictures, as well as a great collectors guide.


Hello, this is hopefully the first post of many to explore the Canadian view of classic work wear, outdoors wear, tools, and all things of heirloom quality. So please follow us, and enjoy.