FILM1 | Montreal Fire Department on runners

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Montreal Fire Department on runners
1901, 20th century
Edison Manufacturing co., USA (production)
Library of Congress (Washington) (Archives)
This artefact belongs to : © Library of Congress (Washington) (Archives)
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Keys to History

In 1852 there was a terrible fire that laid waste to almost half of Montreal. This tragic event forced the city to carry out a complete review of its firefighting methods.

The Montreal Fire Department was created in 1863. At that time, the municipality hired its first full-time firefighters and authorized the construction of the first fire station. Over the years, this service constantly improved its facilities and equipment. In 1871, Montreal bought its first steam pump; in 1884, the city installed telephones in its fire stations.

This silent film shows the firefighters of one squad of the Montreal Fire Department in 1901. The production shows both the firefighters' equipment of the period and the energy required to perform their tasks. The film was produced for a series of films intended to promote vaudeville theatre in Montreal.

  • What

    The film was made as a still shot, i.e., the camera remained stationary throughout the filming and it was the actors who moved about.

  • Where

    This short was filmed on Cherrier Street, near Lafontaine Park in Montreal.

  • When

    In February 1901, the American network Proctor produced a series of topical short films in Montreal.

  • Who

    This film, about one and a half minutes long, was made by the American cameraman William Paley.