Life

piece of history | Jami Roskamp

When wombat fur coats were the rage

(The History Center)
(The History Center)

In light of the winter weather, I’ll highlight one of The History Center’s more unusual artifacts this month: a wombat coat.

The popularity of wombat coats rose at the beginning of the 20th century and reached peak popularity in the 1920s.

The coats were made from the fur of an Australian marsupial that’s about the size of a pig.

They were warm and less expensive than a mink or even a raccoon coat, selling for $22 to $35 in 1904.

By 1920, Killian’s Department Store in Cedar Rapids was selling wombat coats, much like the one in our collection, for $175 to $245. That’s equivalent to about $3,000 in today’s dollars.

• Jami Roskamp is curator and education coordinator at The History Center.

Give us feedback

We value your trust and work hard to provide fair, accurate coverage. If you have found an error or omission in our reporting, tell us here.

Or if you have a story idea we should look into? Tell us here.

CONTINUE READING

Give us feedback

We value your trust and work hard to provide fair, accurate coverage. If you have found an error or omission in our reporting, tell us here.

Or if you have a story idea we should look into? Tell us here.