Stan Korsch: The Fur Industry

Posted by jyuhasz


Hat factory workers, Charles Korsch Ltd., 560 Cambie Street
Rights - JMABC
Interviewee: 
Korsch, Stan
Location: 
Vancouver, BC
Interviewer: 
Gerber, Jean
Date: 
Wednesday, July 2, 2008
ID: 
Digital audio recording #: 20.08-21
 
 
JG:          And what brought them, then, to Vancouver?
 
SK:         Well, then, my dad and mother were married in 1916 in St. Paul. My mother’s family...I, I have no idea when my dad moved to St. Paul, but it wasn’t far ahead of 1916 when they were married. They were married in St. Paul in 1916 and 1918, Dad decided that he wanted to move, well he got the attraction of ‘Go west young man, go west,’ which was quite strong at that time. And he went as far west as he could. He got a one way train ticket to Prince Rupert. And that’s where he was going to set up. 
 
JG:          I see. Go on.
 
SK:          And he only stayed there a week. It rained every day and he said this is not for me (laughter). He moved down to Vancouver. Meantime, my mom of course, she didn’t hear from him for the first two months after the move. Didn’t know if he was alive or dead. But, he was busy trying to place himself and he finally, he met on the street here some Jewish people who told him what to do, and he, he himself was a, he had trained with his dad as a, as a hat man. That’s what my grandpa’s business was, making men’s hats, making men’s hats and selling them. And, my dad had learnt that, but he started out in Vancouver as a, well, a, as a furrier. 
 
Now, he didn’t know a thing about fur, but, they, they, I remember him telling me, he said, they, they said, “Can you drop furs?” and my dad says, “Of course I can drop furs.” But he didn’t know what that meant. So, they hired him and he learnt how to drop furs. And he became pretty good at it, at a furrier, being in the fur business. So much so that he, he, yeah, the Canadian, the B.C. Government appointed him an agent for them to go and buy furs from the Indians. So for, he, for several years, that’s what he did. In the meantime, mother came from St. Paul, Minneapolis didn’t exist in those days, it was St. Paul. And, uh, they set up shop here in Vancouver. 
 
And, after the stint with the fur business, my dad went into the business he knew, millenary, hats, making hats. And that’s where he, about, 19, I would say that would have been about 1920. He opened, he started to manufacture hats, and..
 
JG:          What was the name of his company? 
 
SK:          His own name, Charles Korsch Limited. And he was, and his trade name was on, on all his hats, was “Made in the West for the Western Made.”

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