VIEW-1595.0 | Interior of C.P.R. drawing room car, Montreal, QC, composite, 1886

Interior of C.P.R. drawing room car, Montreal, QC, composite, 1886
Wm. Notman & Son
1885-1915, 19th century or 20th century
Silver salts on glass - Gelatin dry plate process
24 x 20 cm
Purchase from Associated Screen News Ltd.
© McCord Museum
Keywords:  Art (2774) , composite (312) , Photograph (77678)
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Keys to History

For many people, a first-class trip across Canada on the CPR was the experience of a lifetime. This looks like a lovely, civilized way to travel. How nice to sit in a comfortable, padded chair with plenty of legroom and no one to jostle you. Certainly this was better than sitting on a hard wooden seat in a crowded emigrant car rubbing elbows with goodness knows who. You can see by the look on the young woman's face that she feels she deserves this good luck. Perhaps she is weighed down by all that heavy material, but that was the price one paid for being from the prosperous class.

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

  • What

    This is a composite photograph showing the CPR drawing-room car: the figures were photographed individually, then pasted on a background, which was rephotographed.

  • Where

    The car was photographed in Montreal.

  • When

    The picture was produced in 1886, perhaps as an advertisement to show people how comfortable and genteel rail travel could be.

  • Who

    From the clothing, it is clear that only the well-to-do could afford to travel in this car. Is that a doctor's bag cleverly arranged on the right-hand seat to show that professional men travelled this way?