MP-1976.24.27 | Salvaging from a wrecked scow, Revillon Frères, ON, about 1910

Salvaging from a wrecked scow, Revillon Frères, ON, about 1910
Samuel Herbert Coward
About 1910, 20th century
Silver salts on paper mounted on paper - Gelatin silver process
7 x 13 cm
Gift of Mrs. Dorothy Martin
© McCord Museum
Keywords:  Occupation (1110) , Photograph (77678) , river (1486) , Waterscape (2986)
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Keys to History

All crossings were potentially perilous, more or less so depending on the breadth and roughness of the waterway. The men in this photo, for example, are salvaging cargo from a floundering barge. The history of many Canadian communities is dotted with such incidents, some minor, others disastrous and not all officially recorded. The search for wrecks - even those of smaller vessels like scows - often provides clues to what life was like in a particular area. In the Rivière Richelieu, for instance, more than a dozen small transport craft have been found.

Source : Disasters and Calamities [Web tour], by Nathalie Lampron (see Links)

  • What

    Scows are flat-bottomed boats used specifically to ferry cargo over short distances, for the most part on rivers.

  • Where

    In 1923, Revillon Frères owned 47 fur-trading posts between Charlottetown, PEI, and Prince Rupert, BC, including many on Hudson Bay and James Bay. Traces of this Parisian company remain in towns like Moosonee, Ontario, with its Revillon Frères museum.

  • When

    In 1936, financial difficulties forced Revillon Frères to sell out to the rival Hudson's Bay Company.

  • Who

    Victor Revillon, of the French furriers Revillon Frères, came to Canada in 1893 to open dozens of fur-trading posts, ready to compete with the Hudson's Bay Company on its own ground.