Gun Accessories & Hand Weapons

Among the incredible fur trade artifacts in the museum collection are unopened cans of gun powder dating the mid-nineteenth century, manufactured in both England and America, and found in the attics and closets of long abandoned trading posts.

Until fairly recently, the lead shot and balls used for hunting bore quaint names that indicated the quarry each was used for—various sizes of shot were known as swan, goose, duck, pigeon, and even beaver. This last reference alludes to the fact that beaver were usually hunted and shot rather than being trapped. Steel traps did not become an important part of the fur trade until mid-18th century.

Special types of weapons were provided to warriors including dag blades which could be used as knives or spears, bell axes, pipe tomahawk (which symbolized both peace and war), and the amazing buffalo knife which could be used for cutting firewood, chopping up a freshly killed buffalo, or dispatching an enemy warrior.