MP-1994.9.774 | Yvette and baby Raymond in his highchair, Bordeaux district, Montreal, QC, 1922
Yvette and baby Raymond in his highchair, Bordeaux district, Montreal, QC, 1922
1922, 20th century
Silver salts on glass - Gelatin dry plate process
8.3 x 14 cm
Gift of M. Albert Richard
© McCord Museum
Keywords: child (1308) , informal (1120) , Photograph (77678) , portrait (53878)
Keys to History
The chief consumers of raw milk were babies and young children. Doctors and hygienists insisted that children needed a different diet from that of adults. They were not supposed to eat as much meat as their elders or drink tea or coffee. According to the experts: "A child cannot thrive on the same food as a grown person. He needs plenty of pure milk, well cooked cereals, soft cooked eggs, cooked fruits, fruit juices, well cooked vegetables, milk puddings and similar foods". Cow's milk was also recognized as an excellent substitute for mother's milk. When a woman could not breast-feed or decided to stop nursing, she was advised to feed her baby diluted, slightly sweetened cow's milk.
Two children in a kitchen in 1922 -- the scene is both commonplace and extraordinary. Photographs of domestic interiors in the first decades of the 20th century are extremely rare.
The Richard family lived in Bordeaux, a residential area on the northern part of the Island of Montreal, near the Rivière des Prairies.
In 1922 the residents of the Bordeaux district probably got their milk from one of the neighbouring rural parishes, either St. Laurent or Sault au Récollet.
Henri Richard (1889-1960) was a typographer who also took up photography. As with quite a number of amateur photographers, his work included many shots of members of his family going about their everyday business.