II-97020 | A.G. Yates and friends in parlour car, QC, 1892

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A.G. Yates and friends in parlour car, QC, 1892
Wm. Notman & Son
1892, 19th century
Silver salts on glass - Gelatin dry plate process
20 x 25 cm
Purchase from Associated Screen News Ltd.
© McCord Museum
Keywords:  informal (1120) , Photograph (77678) , portrait (53878)
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Keys to History

At the end of the 19th century, the railway companies offered to passengers who had the means quality service in comfortable, sumptuously decorated railcars. Some cars were equipped with steam heat, electrical lighting and a primitive form of air-conditioning.

Thanks to Sir William Van Horne (1843-1915), general manager then president of Canadian Pacific, that company acquired its own parlour cars, sleeping cars and dining cars in the 1880s. CP ads extolled its first-class service, emphasizing the especially spacious cars, equipped with toilets, smoking compartments, high-backed seats, and armrests. Van Horne took his inspiration from the railcars of the Pullman Palace Car Company, an American company founded in 1865 by George M. Pullman (1831-1897). Pullman had laid the foundations of the future standards of first-class travel.

  • What

    In 1890, a berth in a sleeping car cost $1.50 for a trip from Montreal to Quebec City, and a seat in a saloon car was $0.75.

  • Where

    This photograph was one of a series produced for the Canadian Pacific by the firm of Wm. Notman & son.

  • When

    Before the introduction, in 1857, of the first type of sleeping car by the Great Western Railway Company and the first dining car, Canadian trains stopped at night and at mealtimes.

  • Who

    The sculptors of the Canadian Pacific who worked in the Hochelaga shops were renowned for the quality of their work.