M930.50.8.443 | The International Railway and Steam Navigation Guide (cover page)

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The International Railway and Steam Navigation Guide (cover page)
John Henry Walker (1831-1899)
1875-1885, 19th century
Ink on paper on supporting paper - Wood engraving
17.1 x 12.4 cm
Gift of Mr. David Ross McCord
© McCord Museum
Keywords:  Miscellaneous (671) , Print (10661)
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Keys to History

Invented in 1777 by the English engineer James Watt, then improved and adapted for innumerable uses, the steam engine is the driving force behind the Industrial Revolution.

During the 19th century, steam power is used to transport both merchandise and people, helping to reduce the distances between nations, between peoples. Shipping routes multiply as fast as railroads, with each form of transportation trying to rival the other in terms of comfort. People can now set out to discovery new horizons, and Canadians do just that: many now travel purely for pleasure.

Travel guides, first published in the 1840s, grow in popularity. They use words and pictures to laud the destinations and the visitor accommodations. The tourist industry in Quebec develops after 1880, with the expansion of the railroads. The most popular destinations are the Laurentians, the Mauricie and the Charlevoix regions, and the tourist guides of the period sing the praises of their natural beauty.

Source : Brand New and Wonderful: The Rise of Technology [Web tour], by Jacques G. Ruelland, Université de Montréal (see Links)

  • What

    This tourist guide from 1870 shows that the tourist industry is already an international phenomenon.

  • Where

    The first travel guides are published in 1846 in Boston, Massachusetts. They are an immediate success, probably because they invite readers to dream.

  • When

    The French writer Prosper Mérimée coins the word "tourism" in hisNotes de voyage dans le midi de la France (1835).

  • Who

    The division of the world into time zones dates from 1884. Before then, planning a trip poses serious scheduling problems!