Jewish traders obtained furs from the First Nations by bartering beads, blankets, firearms, fish hooks, axes, clothing, and food stuffs. Some owned boats and established trading posts along the coasts of Vancouver Island and BC.
A German pioneer to Victoria, Joseph Boscowitz, became involved in the seal industry after opening the fur trading company, J. Boscowitz and Sons, in the late 1800s. He also ran the Boscowitz Steamship Company which operated three ships in the North Pacific. The S.S. Barbara Boscowitz was named after Joseph’s daughter. By the time he died in 1923, Boscowitz had contributed greatly to the economic growth of the province.