VIEW-14655 | Interior of the cow barn, H. Montagu Allan's farm, QC, 1914

Interior of the cow barn, H. Montagu Allan's farm, QC, 1914
Wm. Notman & Son
1914, 20th century
Silver salts on glass - Gelatin dry plate process
20 x 25 cm
Purchase from Associated Screen News Ltd.
© McCord Museum
Keywords:  farming (278) , Industry (942) , Photograph (77678)
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Keys to History

The battle for safer milk was waged on several fronts. Physicians and hygienists were primarily concerned with the conditions of milk production. They called for the inspection of dairy farms and the introduction of stricter standards of hygiene. They demanded that municipal authorities hire qualified inspectors and assign them the task of ensuring the cleanliness of cows and cow barns. Inspectors were asked to remind producers of the importance of mucking out barns and sheds, spreading fresh straw, whitewashing walls, installing mosquito screens and washing cows' udders before milking. Publications such as Les douze commandements du laitier (The Dairyman's Twelve Commandments) provided guidelines on personal hygiene, on cleaning containers and on the best way to store milk. However, the inspection department's meagre resources and the resistance of many producers limited the positive impact of these measures.

  • What

    Dairy farms belonging to agricultural colleges, to businesses or to gentlemen farmers were often held up as models for ordinary farmers and they epitomized the reformers' agricultural ideal.

  • Where

    The photographer's notebook does not indicate where Sir Hugh's cow barn was located. It may have been on the Island of Montreal, as many upper-middle class Montrealers had country houses on the island.

  • When

    In 1914 most of the farms supplying milk for the Montreal market had very little in common with this model farm belonging to gentleman farmer Hugh Montagu Allan.

  • Who

    Sir Hugh Montagu Allan (1860-1951) was the son of Sir Hugh Allan (1810-82), one of Montreal's wealthiest businessmen. In 1914 he was chairman of the Merchants' Bank of Canada.