Arctic fox (Vulpes lagopus)
Blue Fox, Cat Island, ca. 1912
English: PH Coll 247.798
As work in the mines declined and the price paid for furs increased, fox farming began to prosper. By 1919, twenty-one fox farmers held Chugach National Forest permits for the Sound's 19 fox farms. At least half of the permit-holders were oldtimers who had arrived before or during the gold rush. In 1922, the Valdez Dock Company shipped $100,000 worth of fox furs from the Sound's islands to London and Paris. European women preferred the blue or Arctic fox, whereas the tastes of American women leaned towards red fox. By 1925, thirty-four islands had fox farms, and local newspapers were actively encouraging the establishment of more. At this time, blue fox pelts sold at $100-$150 apiece and silver fox from $250-$500. With the stockmarket crash in 1929 and a change in women's tastes, the fur market declined during the 1930s. By 1939, only 15 active fox farms remained.
Subjects (LCSH): Arctic fox--Alaska--Cat Island
English: United States--Alaska--Cat Island
Date circa 1912
Photographer John E Thwaites (1863–1940)
Source John E. Thwaites Photographs of Alaska
The Arctic fox (Vulpes lagopus), also known as the white fox, polar fox, or snow fox, is a small fox native to the Arctic regions of the Northern Hemisphere and common throughout the Arctic tundra biome. It is well adapted to living in cold environments. It has a deep thick fur which is brown in summer and white in winter.