MP-1994.32.2 | Tea party, woman pouring, Knowlton, QC, about 1900

 
Photograph
Tea party, woman pouring, Knowlton, QC, about 1900
Sally Eliza Wood
1900, 19th century or 20th century
Silver salts on glass - Gelatin dry plate process
12 x 17 cm
Gift of Mrs. Sara Tauben
MP-1994.32.2
© McCord Museum
Description
Keywords:  Occupation (1110) , Photograph (77678)
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Keys to History

Consumption was also an expression of a desire to imbue everyday rituals with great refinement. Meals became much more formal. The family gathered in the dining room around a table covered by a white cloth. Places were carefully set; plates were porcelain or fine china with printed patterns; cutlery was silver or silver plate, made by a new industrial process. The mistress of the house presided over the Victorian ritual par excellence: teatime. Members of the middle class could now aspire to acquire goods which would enable them to adopt, or at least mimic, a way of life which had once been reserved for aristocrats.

  • What

    This photograph shows life at home in the Eastern Townships around 1900. Two women are sharing a meal in the dining room.

  • Where

    In the second half of the 19th century, tea drinking increased enormously. To meet the growing demand for this beverage, Great Britain and countries throughout the Empire imported vast quantities of tea from the East Indies and Ceylon.

  • When

    Is it breakfast or teatime? In either case, tea played an important role.

  • Who

    The photographer is Sally Eliza Wood (1857-1928). She opened a studio in Knowlton at the turn of the 20th century, at a time when there were few women in her profession.