MP-0000.1452.66 | Winter harvest fields, St. Lawrence River, Montreal, QC, about 1870

 
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Photograph
Winter harvest fields, St. Lawrence River, Montreal, QC, about 1870
Alexander Henderson
About 1870, 19th century
Silver salts on paper mounted on card - Albumen process
15.3 x 20.6 cm
Gift of Miss E. Dorothy Benson
MP-0000.1452.66
© McCord Museum
Description
Keywords:  Photograph (77678) , river (1486) , Waterscape (2986)
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Keys to History

During the winter, the ice that formed on the Saint Lawrence River made maritime transportation impossible. For many years, Montreal's economic activity slowed to a crawl during the cold season. Local traffic did continue, however, since it used the ice bridges over the river. The situation did not improve until 1860, when the opening of the Victoria Bridge made it possible for trains to cross the river.

Montreal's inhabitants were nonethless able to take advantage of the ice cover. They used saws to cut out blocks of ice like the ones shown in this photograph. These blocks were then sold in the city, where they were used mostly to preserve food in ice houses.