VIEW-1434.1 | C.P.R. machine shop, Winnipeg, MB, 1884

C.P.R. machine shop, Winnipeg, MB, 1884
William McFarlane Notman
1884, 19th century
Silver salts on paper mounted on paper - Albumen process
20 x 25 cm
Purchase from Associated Screen News Ltd.
© McCord Museum
Keywords:  Architecture (8646) , industrial (826) , Photograph (77678)
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Keys to History

This view of the CPR machine shop in Winnipeg, taken in 1884, tells a good deal about industrial technology in late 19th century Canada. In the foreground is a lathe that, like the rest of the machines, is powered by a leather belt that runs at the upper end around a large rotating shaft under the roof. The shaft is turned at one end by a larger belt connected to a steam engine. Some of the machinery rotates very quickly, and the danger of accidents from workers getting caught in the belts is obvious. Safety in the workplace was one of the reasons why railway workers organized trade unions in Canada and the United States.

Source : Forging the National Dream [Web tour], by William R. Morrison, University of Northern British Columbia (see Links)

  • What

    This is a CPR machine shop and equipment.

  • Where

    The shop is in Winnipeg.

  • When

    The year is 1884.

  • Who

    William Notman often chose to photograph the workplace without the workers, as if the machines were more important and interesting than the men who operated them.