M930.50.3.59 | Industrial Harbour

Industrial Harbour
John Henry Walker (1831-1899)
About 1870-1880, 19th century
Ink on paper on supporting paper - Wood engraving
10.3 x 17 cm
Gift of Mr. David Ross McCord
© McCord Museum
Keywords:  Cityscape (3948) , Print (10661)
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Keys to History

The great ports of the 19th century - notably Montreal's - attract new kinds of industries that change them forever.

Heavy industry is expanding rapidly. The factories are built close to navigable waterways and to coal and mineral deposits, then linked to the rest of the country by the railway and road systems.

The industrial city imposes a new way of life: efficiency, profit, pollution. In the shadow of the factories, workers communities spring up. Thick smoke fills the air. But the "coal-blackened" city is a new symbol of progress.

  • What

    The industrial port bustles with activity. Alongside the docks, boats, trains and wagons load up on the merchandise coming from faraway countries.

  • Where

    In the industrialized city, the living conditions of the poor deteriorate, while those of the wealthy greatly improve.

  • When

    In the latter part of the 19th century, Montreal is a large industrial city and a financial and commercial metropolis.

  • Who

    In the middle of the 19th century, Montreal is essentially a British city. After 1865, Francophones become the majority in the city.