Online Encyclopedia


Online Encyclopedia
Originally appearing in Volume V11, Page 352 of the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica.
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RACCOON.—Size 20 X12 in. Is an animal varying considerably in size and in quality and colour of fur, according to the part of North America in which it is found. In common parlance, it may be described as a species of wild dog with close affinity to the bear: The underwool is 1 to 12 in. deep, pale brown, with long top hairs of a dark and silvery-grey mixture of a grizzly type, the best having a bluish tone and the cheapest a yellowish or reddish-brown. A limited number of very dark and black sorts exist and are highly valued for trimmings. The very finest skins are chiefly used for stoles and muffs, and the general run for coachmen's capes and carriage rugs, which are very handsome when the tails, which are marked with rings of dark and light fur alternately, are left on, Raccoons are used in enormous quantities in Canada for men'scoats, the fur outside. The poorer qualities are extensively bought and made up in a similar way for Austria-Hungary and Germany. These make excellent linings for coats or footsacks for open driving in very cold climates. The worst coloured skins are dyed black or brown and are used for British military busbies, or caps, stoles, boas, muffs and coachmen's capes. The best skins come from the northern parts of the United States. A smaller and poorer species inhabits South America, and a very few are found in the north of India, but these do not interest the European trade. From Japan a similar animal is obtained in smaller quantities with very good but longer fur, of yellowish motley light-brown shades. It is more often imported and sold as Japanese fox, but its resemblance to the fur of the American raccoon is so marked as to surely identify it. When dyed dark blue or skunk colour it is good-looking and is sold widely in Europe. Raccoon skins are also frequently unhaired, and if the underwool is of good quality the effect is similar to beaver. It is the most useful fur for use in America or Russia, having a full quantity of fur which will retain heat. Value Iod. to 26s.
End of Article: RACCOON

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