About Collecting Vintage Beacon / Esmond and Indian Trade Blankets

Beacon camp blankets have become prized collectors and decorator textiles. They are an affordable and usable in most cases, part of home living and lifestyle.

I have seen them in not only southwest homes, country homes, log cabin settings, ranch homes, but in city and apartment dwellings. They are also great to travel with in so many ways.

We personally take a couple Beacon blankets with us while traveling and use in hotel rooms to sleep under. ( not a fan of heavy duvet covers ) 

Beacon blankets were introduced in the early 1900's. Beacon blanket has become the generic name for many cotton blankets, because not all blankets were made by the Beacon Manufacturing  Company and the term Beacon  blanket is used loosely.

They add color and texture to the home. 

Another company producing these camp blankets was the Esmond Mills Company of Esmond, R.I.

The Indian design camp blankets, as they are often called, were sold at stores like Sears Roebuck & Co., Montgomery Ward, W.T. Grant, J.C. Penny, dry good stores and others as noted in the book Beacon Blankets Make Warm Friends by Brownstein.

They are easy to care for and are generally very washable and can be dried out flat or with care put in the dryer for just a bit on very low heat and finish drying on a flat surface. I generally dry outside on the grass when possible or on a sheet under a fan.

To remove dust or pet hair a sticky roller works wonders or even put in the dryer with NO heat and tumble for a few minutes . 

Here's some good reading along with great pictures on blankets that is recommended:

Language of the Robe- Robert Kapoun, Chasing Rainbows-Barry Friedman, Beacon Blankets Make Warm Friends- Jerry and Kathy Brownstein.

Note a new book out 2014!! Still Chasing Rainbows - Collecting American Indian Trade & Camp Blankets by Barry Friedman.

I think of a beacon blanket in "earlier" days as one that was used in the 1930's to the 60's,,(and that's part of my time era!!) that was used when traveling and thrown in the automobile just in case... also for the bunk, cabin or children's room or for the guest that needed an extra cover or thrown on the sofa for warming up when drafty.

The woollies-Antique Pendleton Indian Trade Blankets and others 

This selection of Indian trade blankets will be wool unless noted.

These blankets will be from the Pendleton Woolen Mills that include Pendletons, Beaver State, Cayuse and Blackfoot. 

Also included are Capps from the J Capps & Company . 

These wool trade blankets may be added to the cotton Beacon blanket page, so be sure and follow those offerings. 

Visit my Facebook page Old Vintage Indian Camp and Trade Blankets