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In 1930s Timmins, spring meant a change in wardrobe

In this edition of Remember This, Timmins Museum and National Exhibition Center looks back on the shedding of winter clothes and our ancestors' particular obsession with fur.
A lovely model shows this full length mink coat to full advantage at the Ontario Trappers Association convention and fashion show in 1964, an impressive if not over the top display. Subsequent generations would shed their furs for good as tastes changed. Timmins Museum photo

From the Timmins Museum: National Exhibition Center:

In the 1930s particularly, fur was at the height of popularity and remained an essential element of a ladies’ costume.

In light of this fact, many “fur ranches” popped up in the community, which is as grim sounding to us now as it was to previous generations. These unfortunate places raising furbearing creatures such as fox purely for the pelts gained a very unsavory reputation.

So called “Barnyard furs” didn’t pass muster for most, especially for one discerning correspondent from the Porcupine advance reminding fashion conscious readers in a 1936 edition of the newspaper that furs of quality could readily be obtained locally by trappers who perfected their trade and hunted sustainably.  

Advertisements for fur vaults and summer storage of these winter staples where as much a harbinger of spring in town as budding trees. A good quality fur could easily be worth a week’s wages for a miner of the period, so this special handling was a must to preserve these garments from the perils of moths, fire, theft and grubby little hands.

Polar Air Fur Storage in Schumacher boasted a forced air evaporator unit and climate controlled plant which was such a novelty at the time that members of the public where invited to take a stroll in the chilled air of the up-to-date facilities in May of 1948 during regular business hours. Visitors were cheekily encouraged to bring their coats.

Each week, the Timmins Museum: National Exhibition Centre provides TimminsToday readers with a glimpse of the city’s past.

Find out more of what the Timmins Museum has to offer at and look for more Remember This? columns here.