Most of the stories I’ve heard in conversation are not true. Some of the first beads were made of stone, bone, teeth, shells, wood, metal, copper and gold, anything solid.
I’ve had people tell me that those beads are fur trade beads, only to find out latter that they are more likely late 1800’s. Beads were worn for adornment, a sign of wealth and prestige.
This process is called marvering, originating from the French word "marbrer" which translates to "marble".
The Spanish explorers Narváez in 1527 and De Soto in 1539 carried glass beads for trade with the native inhabitants of Florida.
In 1622, a glass factory was built near Jamestown, Virginia.
Yes, if you’re saying they have a fur trade clear up to 1920. Because that bead wasn’t made until the late 1800’s early 1900’s.
But the fort was in use long after the 1840’s and is still there today.