WINNIPEG - The history of the North West Company traces back its roots to Canada’s European pioneering heritage, and the company’s first founding was incensed with fierce competition.
In 1608 the French had recently landed in Quebec, and began to spread out and build a fur trade empire in the St. Lawrence basin. But this sparked tensions with the renowned fur trading empire, the Hudson’s Bay Company.
It wouldn’t be for over 170 years until the North West Company would finally be founded in Montreal, but it was a short lived company, being forced to merge with the Hudson’s Bay Company in 1820.
Today the North West Company was reinvented and founded in Winnipeg in 1987, operating as a multinational Canadian grocery and retail company, even selling fur related products.
But remnants of the predecessor fur trading company are still rummaging around, such as this copper Northwest Company token, which was a form of currency issued by the North West Company representing the value of one beaver pelt.
This token sold on eBay in February for just over $300, but if this item was graced with an official authentication and grading, it could have reached a value of over $4,000!
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