MP-0000.27.69 | Cattle on Côte-des-Neiges Road, Montreal, QC, about 1900

 
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Photograph
Cattle on Côte-des-Neiges Road, Montreal, QC, about 1900
Wallis & Shepherd
About 1900, 19th century or 20th century
Silver salts on glass - Gelatin dry plate process
6 x 8 cm
MP-0000.27.69
© McCord Museum
Description
Keywords:  Animal (838) , Photograph (77678)
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Keys to History

This photograph, taken in 1900, shows a small herd of cows on Côte-des-Neiges, a road running through Montreal. In the 19th century, many Montreal families raised animals like pigs, cows and chickens. The latter were a source of food and income.

Prior to 1860, a concern with public health and hygiene led to municipal regulations designed to keep animals off city streets - measures that met with limited success, if we go by this photograph. Animals were no longer allowed to graze in public places and one could not keep "a horse, cow, calf, pig, sheep, goat or fowl in a house or lodging." In 1868, pig raising was prohibited in the most densely populated neighbourhoods of Montreal. The ban was extended to the city as a whole in 1874.

Despite these efforts, animals did not entirely vanish from the city. In 1889, Montreal has about 500 cow barns. In 1891, cows accounted for the largest proportion of animals raised in the city, where their numbers exceeded even those of fowl. Still, raising cows was a costly business and a luxury that unqualified workers - the poorest of all - generally could not afford.

  • What

    The technique of silver gelatin dry plate, developed in 1878, was used to make this photograph.

  • Where

    This photograph may have been taken on a section of Côte-des-Neiges, a road running through Montreal and the municipalities of Notre-Dame-des-Neiges and Notre-Dame-des-Neiges Ouest, which were annexed to Montreal in 1907 and 1910 respectively.

  • When

    In the 19th century, many Montreal families raised animals like pigs, cows and fowl. The latter were a source of food and income.

  • Who

    This photograph attributed to Wallis and Shepherd was taken sometime around 1900.