MP-1985.31.180 | Woman ironing starched collars, M. T. S., QC, about 1901

 
Photograph
Woman ironing starched collars, M. T. S., QC, about 1901
N. M. Hinshelwood
About 1901, 19th century or 20th century
Silver salts on glass - Gelatin dry plate process
16 x 21 cm
Gift of an anonymous donor
MP-1985.31.180
© McCord Museum
Description
Keywords:  female (135) , figure (1849) , industry (91) , ironing (2) , Occupation (1110) , Photograph (77678) , starching (3) , work (389) , work (126) , worker (11)
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Keys to History

Like shoe manufacturing, the clothing industry was also a major component of the Montreal manufacturing sector. Clothing production was scattered among a large number of small workshops not far from the city centre. The textile industry, on the other hand, set up in what were then the suburbs, building huge factories like the one owned by Victor Hudon (1812-97) in Hochelaga. These factories specialized in cotton fabrics. Around the same time, Montreal also became the largest tobacco-processing centre in Canada. In the extensive food-processing sector, the city attracted a wide range of industries, including flour mills, sugar refineries, breweries, distilleries, meat packers and biscuit factories.

  • What

    The initials M. T. S. probably refer to the Montreal Toilet Supply Co. Ltd. The scene is therefore more representative of industrial laundering (a service-sector activity) than of the clothing industry.

  • Where

    The company is listed as being at 589 Dorchester Street, close to the city centre. It also had a branch in the west end of the city, at 4228 Ste. Catherine Street.

  • When

    The company first appeared in Lovell's Directory in 1897-98, but its name is not listed in the 1901-02 edition.

  • Who

    N. M. Hinshelwood was a Montreal photographer who specialized in taking pictures of industrial sites and machinery. He also produced a number of tourism brochures, including Montreal and Vicinity.