M992.110.10 | Model of streetcar

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Creative Commons License
Model of streetcar
1900-1920, 20th century
29 x 115 cm
Gift of the Estate of M. Omer Lavallée
© McCord Museum
Keywords:  Model (422) , Toy (148)
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Keys to History

It is not known what this scale model of a type of streetcar used in Montreal at the beginning of the 20th century was used for. It could either be a demonstration model, a child's toy or a collector's item.

The electrification of the tramway, which began in 1892, had unprecedented effects on the Montreal public transportation network. Electricity was more reliable than animal traction, and made it possible to equip vehicles with more powerful motors. This advance doubled, then quadrupled, the speed of the streetcars while increasing the passenger capacity. The long rod on the roof of the streetcar is a trolley pole, a device that rolls or slides along the overhead wires and supplies the vehicle with electricity.

The influence of the new technology went far beyond the public transportation services since it required the installation of a network of electrical wires, which could also be used to light the streets of the city.

  • What

    The rounded roof of this vehicle, called a Montreal roof, was characteristic of streetcars manufactured in Montreal from 1896 to 1913.

  • Where

    The entry doors for passengers were located in the rear of the streetcars.

  • When

    The first line on St. Denis Street was established in 1874.

  • Who

    The trams that went along St. Denis Street were often filled with students since the street had become the intellectual centre of the city thanks to the Université Laval de Montréal and the St. Sulpice Library.