M975.62.263.3 | Grand Finale of Fire-Works in Honor of the Prince of Wales and the Successful Completion of the Victoria Bridge, Montreal, Canada East.
Grand Finale of Fire-Works in Honor of the Prince of Wales and the Successful Completion of the Victoria Bridge, Montreal, Canada East.
G. A. Lilliendahl
1860, 19th century
Ink on newsprint - Wood engraving
27.5 x 40.5 cm
Gift of Mr. Charles deVolpi
© McCord Museum
Keywords: event (534) , History (944) , Print (10661)
Keys to History
The air of excitement that pervaded Montreal during the grand fireworks finale held to mark the inauguration of the Victoria Bridge is described in the The Montreal Witness for August 29, 1860:
There were many transatlantic and American visitors in the city, and their unanimous declaration was that the lighting up of Great St. James, from Victoria Square to the Place d'Armes, had never been surpassed. The sight in the harbour was magnificent; the war steamers, the Canadian Mail steamer, and the Glasgow steamer "United Kingdom" were illuminated; while from all the decks shot up flights of rockets, and brilliant lights flashed from every port-hole, Rockets and Bengal lights were fired from St. Helen's; while from the Great Bridge the display was magnificent. Every Street added its contribution of candle light or glare of gas, so that for three hours Montreal, so to speak, heralded the arrival of the Prince of Wales by an endless blaze of light - from horizon to zenith all was brilliant, outviewing oriental splendour and magnificence... All the public squares were tastefully decorated with transparencies and coloured lanterns profusely interspersed among its foliage... The dome of the City Hall was brilliantly lighted up with 3,000 jets of gas, and the windows of the large building were variegated with transparencies and chinese lanterns."
The Montreal Witness, August 29th 1860