European trade beads history and dating

The actual records of the have been lost for the years of the French occupation of York Factory.

Because of fierce competition between the French and English around Hudson’s Bay, York Factory was lost by the Hudson’s Bay Company to the French in 1695, and was not regained until the signing of the Treaty of Utrecht in 1713.

In the case of this article, the term "vintage" is used to refer to any bead over 30 years of age and under 100 years.

If the bead is over 100 years old, it would generally be considered to be an antique.

In Montana, Fort Union was established by the American Fur Company and had 300 free trappers working for it by 1831.

Styles include tubes 4-6mm long, round with stripes 4-6mm in size, eye beads 6-10mm in diameter, and decorative wire wound beads over 10 mm in length or diameter (Davis, 1973). From 1720 to 1774, the Hudson’s Bay Company at York Factory traded 6,934 pounds of beads, which averages 128 pounds a year (Ray, 1974). No records on beads are available until 1719 at which time York Factory traded approximately 290 pounds of beads. Fort George, located in northeastern Alberta, was in operation during 1792-1800. Some of the different types of beads traded during this period were: long and small white, all colors and sizes of round, and barley corn beads (Ray, 1974).

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