I-41831.1 | Model of steam railway car, Montreal, QC, 1869-70

Model of steam railway car, Montreal, QC, 1869-70
William Notman (1826-1891)
1869-1870, 19th century
Silver salts on paper mounted on paper - Albumen process
12.7 x 17.8 cm
Purchase from Associated Screen News Ltd.
© McCord Museum
Keywords:  Photograph (77678) , rail (370) , Transportation (2517)
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Keys to History

Photography was born at the same time as the mass media, transportation and modern communications. Along with the railway and electricity, it formed the "trinity of marvellous inventions that have made our century great" (Alphonse Davanne, 1891). In this context, it was only natural that the task of recording the latest technical achievements should fall to photography. The reproduction of photographic images made possible the large-scale distribution of pictures of the latest and most amazing prototypes of all kinds.

  • What

    The steam-powered streetcar took over from more primitive animal-drawn models but it was only with the advent of the electric streetcar that the modern era of urban mass transit really began in Montreal.

  • Where

    The modern city is alive with activities of all kinds. Modern modes of transportation contributed to the increase in urban movement by conveying large numbers of people from place to place at the same time.

  • When

    The intensification of the division of labour, urbanization and the centralization of decision-making power, along with the expansion of transportation and communication systems, were all part of the development of the new "mass" society between 1850 and 1930.

  • Who

    A few years after the arrival in Montreal of Scottish photographer William Notman in 1856, the city began to build a transportation system suited to the new demands of the modern metropolis.