I-39044.1 | Hollis Street, Halifax, NS, 1869

Hollis Street, Halifax, NS, 1869
William Notman (1826-1891)
1869, 19th century
Silver salts on paper mounted on paper - Albumen process
10 x 8 cm
Purchase from Associated Screen News Ltd.
© McCord Museum
Keywords:  Cityscape (3948) , Photograph (77678) , streetscape (1737)
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Keys to History

Shopping wasn't taught in school, but learning to select the correct clothing was an important skill for respectable young women. Complex clothing rituals for middle-class women included wearing special clothing for all occasions, different times of day, and for mourning the death of a close family member. Sarah Howard and her son Henry operated an elegant shop on Hollis Street in Halifax that was described as "a shrine" for young women, where Parisian millinery, rich imported silks, and Paisley and "french wove" shawls could be turned into the latest fashions by "experienced European Artistes."

Janet Guildford "'Whate'er the duty of the hour demands:' the Work of Middle-Class Women in Halifax, 1840-1880," Social History/ Histoire Sociale Vol. XXX, No. 59 (May-mai 1997): 1-20.

  • What

    Sarah Howard and Son, a wholesale and retail dry goods and millinery business, opened in 1867 in what may be regarded as the first department store in Halifax.

  • Where

    Sarah Howard and Son's shop was located on Hollis Street at the corner of Prince Street, an area of elegant shops and business offices that was built after the devastating fires of the 1850s.

  • When

    In 1867, Sarah Howard and Son moved into their brand new and very fashionable five-storey shop.

  • Who

    Sarah Howard, the mother of four children under 20, was widowed in 1860. With the help of her son, Henry, she turned her small, parlour dry-goods shop into a thriving business.