Q: What were these fur blankets used for?
A: The fur blanket was called a lap robe or auto robe and used for keeping warm when driving the early automobiles that did not have heaters and also used as a horse and buggy lap robe.
Q: What is the value of my lap robe?
A: The value will vary greatly depending on the condition. In good condition and not falling apart they are valued at several hundred dollars. In poor condition the value is a couple hundred or less. Ask a professional furrier to give you written appraisal for insurance and reselling purposes. Antique stores can sometimes give you a current value. Check the internet for auctions with their current prices. Keeping the lap robe original will help the value of the robe, if part of it is changed or replaced the value deceases.
Q: How do I store my lap robe?
A: The best way to store your fur lap robe is in a cool dry place, laying flat and covered to keep dust off. Place a few moth balls on the side, NOT touching the fur, this prevents moths from eating the wool backing. Local fur stores can offer suggestions on the best way to store you vintage fur lap robe at home.
Q: Why was horse fur used?
A: Horse hinds were readily available back then as many people used horses for transportation purposes and due to the lack of modern veterinarian medicines, horses had a short life. Owners were often very attached to their horses, and one way of remembering their horse was to make it's hind into a lap robe, that was a popular thing to do back then, if you had the money. Other animal hinds were used, according to the Edes catalog they were able to make robes from; kip, buffalo, calf, dog, angora goat, fox, raccoon, wild cat, wolf, and coyote.
Q: How much did a lap robe cost back then?
A: In 1915 one could buy a 5 feet by 6 feet cow or horse lap robe for $8.50 and for an extra 95 cents one could get matching fur mittens (large gauntlet mittens) or a woman's muff for 85 cents.
Q: There is a machine stitched name near the label, who is this?
A: This is the employee who made the robe.
Q: Is the Edes Tanning Company still in business?
A: Unfortunately the company went out of business when man made materials became popular, were being sold cheaper, plus the change in fashion. St. Clair Ede, the son of David F. Ede tried to turn the company around making life jackets and boats since the head office was on the Mississippi River in Dubuque, Iowa where river boats were built. The turn around came too late and the Edes company collapsed.
|H.H. Beckman - Edes Furrier Employee|
|Tom Kleven - Edes Tanner Employee|
|Harold Hartline - Edes Tanner Employee|
John Wente - Edes Tanner Employee