Trad­ing Post

Tales and Trea­sures from the rich legacy of the Hud­son’s Bay Com­pany

Canada's History - - CONTENTS - — Amelia Fay, cu­ra­tor of the HBC Col­lec­tion at the Man­i­toba Museum

Euro­peans adopt clay to­bacco pipes from North Amer­ica’s In­dige­nous peo­ples.

Clay to­bacco pipes be­came part of Euro­pean cul­ture after en­coun­ters with In­dige­nous peo­ples in North Amer­ica in the six­teenth cen­tury. Smok­ing quickly caught on, and pipes made from white kaolin clay were mass-pro­duced and cheap enough for all classes to en­joy. The pipes at the top of the pho­to­graph rest on a flat heel, and the lower pipe rests on a spur. The shape of pipe bowls, heels, and spurs changed over time, and this al­lowed re­searchers to date th­ese par­tic­u­lar pipes to the mid­sev­en­teenth cen­tury. Th­ese pipes also have a sim­ple roulet­ted pat­tern around the rim, but none have the maker’s marks that be­came more common after the late seven­teenth cen­tury. They were dis­cov­ered dur­ing the Guild­hall Museum’s ex­ca­va­tions of the Hud­son’s Bay Com­pany staff gar­den on Lit­tle Trin­ity Lane in Lon­don, Eng­land, in the sum­mer of 1965. The gar­den was pre­sum­ably part of the com­pany’s head­quar­ters, as Beaver House was lo­cated right around the cor­ner on Trin­ity Lane at Gar­lick Hill. While we un­for­tu­nately have no notes re­lated to the ex­ca­va­tion, the pipes pre­date HBC’s oc­cu­pa­tion of that land from 1925 to 1970 and were likely left there much ear­lier in Lon­don’s his­tory.

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