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II-169969
© McCord Museum
Photograph
Interior Nerlich & Company's store, Montreal, QC, 1908
Wm. Notman & Son
1908, 20th century
Silver salts on glass - Gelatin dry plate process
20 x 25 cm
Purchase from Associated Screen News Ltd.
II-169969
© McCord Museum

Keys to History:

Specializing in china, glass, novelties, toys and dolls, Nerlich & Company, on Victoria Square, chiefly targeted a well-off clientele fond of amusing pastimes. Here they could buy popular magic lanterns, which can be seen against the wall. A predecessor of the slide projector, the magic lantern projected onto a screen an enlarged image of a photograph or painting on a glass plate. The magic lantern industry developed in the 1840s. Originally used by magicians and charlatans who frightened viewers with various phantasmagoria, magic lanterns became family fun in the 19th century.

What:

The proliferation of consumer goods is one of the characteristics of modern society. Mass production ensures unlimited availability.

Where:

Located on Victoria Square, Montreal's business centre, Nerlich & Co.'s store was strategically located to attract customers.

When:

Some of the china sold by Nerlich & Co., especially items reproducing portraits of the royal family, is now very collectible.

Who:

Rich Montrealers who frequented the business district were among Nerlich & Co.'s customers.

© Musée McCord Museum