Lamson & Hubbard Trading Company

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Lamson & Hubbard Trading Company (also referred to as Lamson & Hubbard Canadian Co. or Lamson Trading Co.) was an enterprise engaged in the fur trading business in the Canadian North, with over fourteen outposts in the Athabasca-Mackenzie River district in Alberta and the Northwest Territories during the early 20th century. They were in direct competition with the Hudson's Bay Company and controlled an estimated 10% of the fur trading market in the north by 1922. Lamson & Hubbard were engaged in river transportation, primarily to service its own isolated fur trading posts along the Mackenzie River, but also to provide commercial service through its wholly owned subsidiary Alberta & Arctic Transportation Company incorporated in 1921. Its flagship on the Alberta to Arctic river route was the S.S. Distributor steam-driven paddlewheeler launched in 1920 at Fort Smith, Northwest Territories to service its posts along the Mackenzie River all the way to the delta where it meets the Arctic Ocean.

The company made good profits until about 1921 when fur prices plummeted. Lamson had put all of its capital into expansion and did not build up a liquid reserve and was thus vulnerable to market volatility. On the other hand, the larger Hudson's Bay Company weathered the storm and was now in a position to systematically attack on their territory and business partners, for which the Lamson lacked the financial resources or manpower to battle back.[1] This led to the HBC buying out all of the stock in Lamson & Hubbard in 1924, including its transportation wing Alberta & Arctic Transportation, giving the HBC a good measure of dominance in the fur trading and transportation industry of northern Alberta and the Northwest Territories.[2]

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References[edit]

  1. ^ Ray, Arthur. The Canadian Fur Trade in the Industrial Age. University of Toronto Press, 1990.
  2. ^ Lamson Fur Trading Posts Bought by Hudson's Bay, The Edmonton Bulletin, April 11, 1924