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David wants to have is fur put in storage. Here’s some images of vintage men’s furs from the 1940s and a Saturday Evening Post from 1929. Raccoon and beaver were common materials, as were mink and seal-skin. Breathable, durable and warm, the fur coat and other accessories have been a tradition in Canadian fashion from the mid-1500’s onward until around the 1980’s when it became a social faux pas.

Canada has a long-standing history in the fur trade, although it became a part of our history that many would rather forget. Still with the harsh climate here furs were less a sign of opulence and wealth, but rather a much-needed tool for survival. The selection of man-made materials that could offer protection from the bitter Canadian winter was just not available at the time and so furs were brought out for those coldest of days.

I looked up the temperature for Montreal the day this letter was written, Jan 19th 1941. The high was -6.1°C with a low of -12.2°C. This was actually a substantial warming following an on-going cold snap, with the lows of Jan 14th through 16th averaging around -24°C!

I couldn’t get a reading for Halifax for that day but in Antigonish, Nova Scotia, where David is later stationed it was a high of -6.7 °C and a low of -20.6° C.

(source: http://www.climate.weatheroffice.gc.ca/advanceSearch/searchHistoricData_e.html?Prov=QC&StationID=9999&Year=1941&Month=1&Day=10&timeframe=1)