M967.138.23A | Sawing and ploughing the ice on the St. Lawrence

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Wood engraving
Sawing and ploughing the ice on the St. Lawrence
James Duncan (1806-1881)
1859, 19th century
Ink on newsprint - Wood engraving
14.7 x 23.4 cm
Gift of Mr. J. Russell Harper
© McCord Museum
Keywords:  Genre (188) , Print (10661)
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Keys to History

A text published in The Illustrated London News on April 16, 1859 deals with the uses made of the ice that forms on the Saint Lawrence River in winter:

In a climate where the summer is always so hot as in Lower Canada ice is a necessary of life, not only to cool beverages, but to keep provisions in a state of preservation. In Montreal, of those who consume ice, many have ice-houses attached to their dwellings, while the remainder, much more numerous, are supplied by Messrs. Lamplough and Campbell, the sole ice-venders in that city. This firm, during the months of January and February, while the ice is pure and thick, and the River St. Lawrence solidly bridged over by it, cut out about 6000 tons of that article and store it in a large house built for that purpose, whence, from the 1st of May until the 1st of October, they daily send it, chopped into pieces of ten, twenty, and thirty pounds, to their customers. Their price for a daily supply of 20 lbs during the whole of the time before mentioned is six dollars, somewhat less than twopence sterling a day.

The Illustrated London News, April 16, 1859.