Thu, January 16, 2014

Photos from the International Fur Trade Exhibition, Leipzig, 1930

In summer 1930, the U.S. Departments of Agriculture and Commerce offered a display at the International Fur Trade Exhibition in Leipzig, Germany. Under the banner “America’s Fur Industry Is On a Firm Foundation,” the exhibit featured the following display of fur seals (from the Pribilofs perhaps?):

Credit for all photos: Records of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, RG 22,
Entry P-92, Box 21, National Archives, College Park, Maryland.

The exhibit also highlighted international treaty protections that “saved the seal from extinction”:

The records of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service—the archival collection in which these photographs are found—are held at the National Archives in College Park, Maryland, and include documents related to Alaska’s fur seal industry from the late nineteenth century forward. Historians such as Kurkpatrick Dorsey, Sarah Crawford Isto, and John Bockstoce have done great work on this topic in recent years. Works by Lydia Black, Richard Pierce, and James Gibson covered the earlier Russian America period. Despite this attention, there are boxes and boxes of documents at College Park that an enterprising scholar could no doubt mine for a new perspective.