Beaver Hats to Hockey Pads: A Social History of Felt in Canada (redux)

8. The Military

Ordnance and ornament…

With all its industrial applications, felt production peaked during wartime. During WWII most felt made in Canada was sold to the United States when the felt industry in general turned all but a minor part of its production into the war effort with increasing demand. In 1942 in North America, felt output doubled from 1940, and 90% (more than 33 million pounds) of felt went into the allied war machine for a broad range of uses from behind the scenes to the front line with most being manufactured for armaments and ammunitions. The following list published by the American Felt Company in 1951 best summarizes the extent of its use:

war effort

military x 2

LEFT: WWI helmut and canteen with green felt covering denoting Army; WWI crest from 215th Infantry Battalion, screen-print on felt; WWII wedge cap, felt in artillery colours (all items from the collection of the Canadian Military Heritage Museum, RIGHT: felt wadding and shells.


7. Industrialization 9. American Influence and Affluence