MP-1981.11.2.63 | W. W. Ogilvie and an Egyptian, in local costume, Alexandria, Egypt, about 1865

W. W. Ogilvie and an Egyptian, in local costume, Alexandria, Egypt, about 1865
About 1865, 19th century
Silver salts on paper - Albumen process
8.5 x 5.6 cm
Gift of Mrs. Margaret Brown
© McCord Museum
Keywords:  male (26812) , Photograph (77678) , portrait (53878)
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Keys to History

In the latter half of the 19th century, a yen for travel and exotic destinations also became apparent. With the apogee of the British Empire came a lively curiosity about the Indies, far-off African colonies and even the vast Canadian Prairies. Japan, China and the Middle East were also objects of fascination. In the 1860s, Montrealer W. W. Ogilvie went off to discover Egypt, the Holy Land and Turkey. On his way through Alexandria, he donned local garb and had his picture taken for posterity.

  • What

    This is a carte de visite photo produced by a studio in Alexandria. It features Montrealer William Watson Ogilvie in typical local dress, accompanied by an Egyptian.

  • Where

    Alexandria is an ancient city, rich in history. It started to become a more frequent tourist destination in the 1860s. The opening of the Suez Canal piqued the curiosity of Europeans, and the age of organized tours began around 1880.

  • When

    William Watson Ogilvie was a 30-year-old bachelor when he set off on his grand tour of the Near East and southern Europe in 1865.

  • Who

    William Watson Ogilvie (1835-1900) was a Montreal businessman. He was chiefly known as the owner of the Ogilvie Milling Co., the biggest flour milling operations in Canada at the time.