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His3813- Carranza- The History of Curling and Its Relation to Lower Canada from 1800-1850

Karen Carranza

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Introduction:

Hurry Hard! Curling has long been known as a gentleman's sport and one of friendly competition. But before it was know as this, curling started as a simple past time for Scottish farmers and when it emerged in Lower Canada, curling became popularized by its exclusivity to the elite of Montreal society. Though the game had been continuously reinventing itself through the modernization of the curling rock, one must understand the transition that this vital piece of curling equipment went through before appreciating the drastic and crucial changes that were made to the game within its first fifty years of life in Canada. The initial changes that Lower Canadians imposed to the game has forever made the game what is in present time.


M975.62.59.2
© Musée McCord
Gravure
Curling
John Henry Walker (1831-1899)
1885, 19e siècle
Encre sur papier journal - Gravure sur bois
41.3 x 29 cm
M975.62.59.2
© Musée McCord

Commentaires:

Curling originally started off as a Scottish past time in the 1600s, with a centralized appeal to the Scot farmers. The continued polishing of the rules and improvement of stones used, this past time soon became a national sport of Scotland.
In his book, The Curling Campanion, W.H. Murray emphasized the role of the stone in the game;"the entire development of a local sport to a truly national sport depended then on the development of the stone itself as the players discovered what could be done with it" ( W.H. Murray page 29)
To understand the development and progress of the sport, one must understand the transitional phases that the stone has undergone between the 1600s until the 1800s

Sources:

Murray, W. H. 1982. The curling companion. Rev ed. Toronto: Collins.


09295
Kuting Stone
Rev. W. Guthrie's curling stone, 1645
John Kerr
1890
09295

Commentaires:

The stones are gripped by means of a thumb- hole cut in the top of each stone and finger-grooves in the bottom.

Between 1500- 1600, Kuting stones were used. Due to the varying weight of these stones which could be anywhere between five to twenty five pounds, it was deemed inappropriate to allow women and/or children to participate therefore making curling an exclusively a male dominated sport. The sheer weight of these stones also limited the game to men who were accustomed to outdoor work and therefore had the required strength to play the game.

Sources:

The Library and Archives Canada: Bonspiel! The History Of Curling in Canada

http://www.collectionscanada.gc.ca/curling/024005-150-e.php?uid=024005-xx011937&uidc=recKey


M930.50.1.227
© Musée McCord
Gravure
Scène de curling
John Henry Walker (1831-1899)
1850-1885, 19e siècle
Encre sur papier - Gravure sur bois
2.5 x 6.2 cm
Don de Mr. David Ross McCord
M930.50.1.227
© Musée McCord

Commentaires:

1650 introduced the widespread use of boulders with handles (although it should be noted that this was not their debut). An indication that players were slowly progressing the game was that with these boulders, although still essentially being stones from the river bed, players were now altering the actual size and shape of the stone. This is not something that would have been done with the Kuting stones.

Sources:

Murray, W. H. 1982. The curling companion. Rev ed. Toronto: Collins.

The Library and Archives Canada: Bonspiel! The History Of Curling in Canada



09315
Boulder with Handle
Curling stone "Black Meg," from Coupar-Angus
Source: The history of curling and fifty years of the Royal Caledonian curling club
1890
09315

Commentaires:

The introduction of the handle to the boulders encouraged men to use heavier stones, which allowed their shots to remain on a more accurate course . By the end of the 18th century, some men were curling with stones that weighed between 70-100 pounds or more. Not only did the rocks graduate into a larger size, but the materials that the handles were made out of also started to vary between brass, bone, ebony, ivory and silver.

Sources:

Creelman, William Albert, and Hugh Edwards Weyman. 1950. Curling, past and present. Toronto: McClelland & Stewart.

Murray, W. H. 1982. The curling companion. Rev ed. Toronto: Collins.

The picture came from:
The Library and Archives Canada: Bonspiel! The History of Curling in Canada http://www.collectionscanada.gc.ca/curling/024005-1000-e.html


09316
Circular Stone
Tam Samson's stone
Source: The history of curling and fifty years of the Royal Caledonian curling club by John Kerr
1890
09316

Commentaires:

It was only after 1800 when circular stones became a rule. This new regulation made curling a game that ceased to be about sheer strength, but instead one that required finesse and strategic play in order to deliver different shots such as a guard (the rock is situated at the front of the house and is usually used to protect another rock from your team) or a draw (a rock that is in play that did not hit another stone). This progression of game mentality also marked the reduced weight of the stones, at that time they were between 40-50 pounds which has remained unchanged to this present day. The rounding of the stone also made sweeping a vital role in the game itself.
It was also in the 18th and 19th century, that each curling team were allowed to have 8 members that were allowed to cast one stone each (now it is four members on each team and they can cast 2 rocks)

Sources:

Creelman, William Albert, and Hugh Edwards Weyman. 1950. Curling, past and present. Toronto: McClelland & Stewart.

The Picture is from: The Library and Archives Canada: Bonspiel! The History Of Curling in Canada
http://www.collectionscanada.gc.ca/curling/024005-1000-e.html


09317
Curling Stone Workshop
Curling Stone Workshop
John E. Maguire
c1882 - 1911
09317

Commentaires:

This picture is from the East Renfrewshire's Heritage Collection

http://www.eastrenfrewshire.gov.uk/heritage/heritage_database_records/heritage_advanced.htm?CALLBACK=1&SearchRS=Sport&isRS=true&submit=Go&page=7&ordertype=ResourceID&textsize=undefined


09313
James Murray
James Murray, painted by Allan Ramsay, 1742 (Scottish National Portrait Gallery)
Allan Ramsay
1742
09313

Commentaires:

Curling was introduced to Canada in 1760 by Brigadier James Murray's regiment, the 78th highlanders known as Fraser's regiment. When these men could not find stones to use they were permitted to melt cannon balls and use those to curl with on the Charles River (W.H. Murray page 116)

Sources:

Murray, W. H. 1982. The curling companion. Rev ed. Toronto: Collins.

The Picture is from: The Scottish National Portrait Gallery
http://www.nationalgalleries.org/index.php/collection/online_search/4:324/results/0/3358/


I-26036.1
© Musée McCord
Photographie
Groupe de curling, Montréal, QC, 1867
William Notman (1826-1891)
1867, 19e siècle
Sels d'argent sur papier monté sur papier - Papier albuminé
12 x 17 cm
Achat de l'Associated Screen News Ltd.
I-26036.1
© Musée McCord

Commentaires:

1807 marked a monumental year, as it was when the Montreal Curling Club was built, making it the first curling club in Canada and the first curling club built outside of Scotland.
The main reason that the Montreal Curling club was created was because it was meant to allow those that originated from north Britain to "introduce their native Game on the St. Lawrence" also "the members were able to enjoy some 'conviviality' and 'companionship' among the more affluent of Montreal's society" (Simpson page 65). A sport that began its history as a past time activity for Scottish farmers in the 1600s; in the course of 200 years and re-establishing itself in Lower Canada had recreated the game into one exclusively meant for the 'affluent of Montreal's society' that were from 'Old Scotia' (Simpson page 68). This type of discrimination was common with all curling clubs and societies in the early 1800s

Sources:

Simpson, Robert Wayne. 1980. The influences of the montreal curling club on the development of curling in the canadas, 1807-1857. London, Ont.: Faculty of Graduate Studies, University of Western Ontario.

Clefs de l'histoire:

Se récréer ou s'amuser ?

Le développement des loisirs, à partir des années 1840, soulève son lot de craintes. On célèbre la détente et l'exercice comme moyens de re-création/récréation ou de ressourcement pour les individus, dans un contexte où le rythme de vie s'accélère, en particulier dans les grandes villes. En même temps, on a peur que la valorisation des loisirs n'ouvre la porte à l'oisiveté, considérée comme la mère de tous les vices ! À l'époque de l'industrialisation naissante, il importe de développer une nouvelle discipline du travail parmi les ouvriers. Comment faire, dans ce contexte, pour valoriser en même temps des valeurs aussi opposées que le loisir et le travail ?

Les loisirs et en particulier les sports sont utilisés pour diffuser les valeurs recherchées telles la responsabilité et la discipline. La pratique d'un sport comme le curling, par exemple, ne doit pas être considérée comme une fin en soi mais plutôt comme un moyen de développer des comportements désirables. Plus que le résultat, c'est la manière de jouer qui compte.

Quoi:

Le curling est un des tout premiers sports à s'implanter au Canada. Au départ, ce jeu se pratiquait sans règles précises.

Où:

C'est à Montréal, en 1807, que se forme le Montreal Curling Club, le premier club sportif en Amérique du Nord. Il est suivi par la création du club de Québec en 1821.

Quand:

Au 19e siècle, ce sport est exclusivement pratiqué par des anglophones. Les francophones considèrent le curling comme un amusement incompréhensible.

Qui:

De riches marchands écossais sont à l'origine de l'essor du curling. Ils vont influencer et dominer pendant longtemps la manière de pratiquer ce jeu.

MP-0000.817.6
© Musée McCord
Photographie
Match de curling au pied de la place Jacques-Cartier, Montréal, QC, dessin de James Duncan, 1855, copie réalisée vers 1910
Anonyme - Anonymous
Vers 1910, 20e siècle
Gélatine argentique
14 x 23 cm
Don de Mr. Stanley G. Triggs
MP-0000.817.6
© Musée McCord

Commentaires:

The first men to gather for the first meeting of the Montreal curling club were the elite of Montreal Society- this included men that were part of the North West Company and merchants, it also included men that were deemed to be of "physic and divinity" (Simpson page 58)
Outsiders were also not permitted to become members, this was usually due not being from 'Old Scotia' and also because they simply did not have the financial resources nor the leisure time to participate in curling (Simpson page 122)

The members tried to remain fairly traditional to the game and played outdoors on the St Lawrence river "dined on salt beef and greens" (W.H. Murray page 116)
 

Sources:

Murray, W. H. 1982. The curling companion. Rev ed. Toronto: Collins.

Simpson, Robert Wayne. 1980. The influences of the montreal curling club on the development of curling in the canadas, 1807-1857. London, Ont.: Faculty of Graduate Studies, University of Western Ontario.


II-48781
© Musée McCord
Photographie
Curling sur le Saint-Laurent, Montréal, QC, photographie composite, 1878
Notman & Sandham
1878, 19e siècle
Plaque de verre au collodion humide
20 x 25 cm
Achat de l'Associated Screen News Ltd.
II-48781
© Musée McCord

Commentaires:

In the first few years of the Montreal Club being opened, curling was sporadic due to the harsh winter conditions that made playing the game on the St. Lawrence difficult and also time consuming to shovel all the snow off the sheet of ice that was going to played on. The game started to regain popularity again in 1820.

Sources:

Simpson, Robert Wayne. 1980. The influences of the montreal curling club on the development of curling in the canadas, 1807-1857. London, Ont.: Faculty of Graduate Studies, University of Western Ontario.

Clefs de l'histoire:

L'hiver 1878, le studio de William Notman, situé au sud de la rue Bleury, bourdonne d'une activité inhabituelle. Un flot incessant de citoyens connus ne cesse d'y entrer et d'en sortir depuis plusieurs semaines. Les uns arrivent en traîneaux élégants, tirés par des chevaux appariés, attelages impeccables, les autres en traîneaux loués, menés par des conducteurs robustes emmitouflés dans des manteaux de bisons. D'autres encore profitent de l'occasion pour se promener d'un pas vif dans les rues enneigées de Montréal. Parmi les visiteurs, on reconnaît des notables tels que sir John A. Macdonald, premier ministre du Canada, et son épouse lady Agnes, lord Dufferin, gouverneur général du Canada, et lady Dufferin, sir Hugh Allan, fondateur des Allan Steamship Lines, sir Alexander Tilloch Galt, homme politique, diplomate et promoteur industriel, John Popham, avocat et commissaire pour l'Ontario, le Québec et les basses provinces, Matthew Hamilton Gault, président de l'Exchange Bank of Canada, le révérend Jacob Ellegood, chanoine de la cathédrale Christ Church et recteur de l'église St. James the Apostle, Alex McGibbon, influent commerçant montréalais, le lieutenant-colonel E.G.P. Littleton ou encore le capitaine Selby Smith. Tous répondent à l'invitation de William Notman qui souhaite les prendre en photo en vue d'une grande photographie composite représentant un match de curling. Une fois achevée, l'image, collage de 122 photographies individuelles sur un arrière-plan peint, doit partir pour l'Exposition universelle de Paris prévue l'été suivant.

Quoi:

Où:

Quand:

Qui:


09312
Earl of Dalhousie
George Ramsay, governor of British North America
unknown
ca. 1825
09312

Commentaires:

The Second club in Quebec was formed in Quebec City in 1821. This club not only promoted the game itself, but it also attempted at being more inclusive then their Montreal counterpart and tried to unite both the English and French inhabitants of Quebec (W.A. Creelman page 136). The Earl of Dalhousie, Governor of Canada, became a member of the Quebec City Curling club in 1828

Sources:

Creelman, William Albert, and Hugh Edwards Weyman. 1950. Curling, past and present. Toronto: McClelland & Stewart.

Simpson, Robert Wayne. 1980. The influences of the montreal curling club on the development of curling in the canadas, 1807-1857. London, Ont.: Faculty of Graduate Studies, University of Western Ontario.


09320
Group of Men Curling
Miscellaneous / Library and Archives Canada / PA-022207
09320

Commentaires:

Curling became something that connected and united the habitants of these two different cities. In 1835, Canada's first match was played in Trois Rivières between the Montreal and Quebec club- this led to a tradition of these two cities always playing each other in friendly matches but it also led to bonspiels.

Sources:

Simpson, Robert Wayne. 1980. The influences of the montreal curling club on the development of curling in the canadas, 1807-1857. London, Ont.: Faculty of Graduate Studies, University of Western Ontario.

The picture is from: The Library and Archives Canada: Bonspiel! The History Of Curling in Canada
http://www.collectionscanada.gc.ca/curling/024005-5003-e.html


09318
Indoor Curling- wood graving
Prince Arthur Opening the Caledonia Curling Rink at Montreal
unknown
1870
09318

Commentaires:

The Montreal club was the "first Trans-Atlantic member of the Grand Caledonian Club of Scotland" in 1841, this was deemed the "Mother Club" ( Simpson page 113). Montreal was also letting its presence be known in other ways; due to Canada's harsh winters, changes had to be made to the traditional way of playing curling and in 1847 Montreal got its first indoor curling rink. This was actually the first indoor rink in the world. (W.H. Murray page 119)

The option to curl indoors when the weather was not favourable changed the game in terms of the frequency in which it was played and also the duration of the match. Now that players did not have to withstand the harsh weather of Mother Nature, it also introduced the point system to the sport (Simpson page 106) . All of these changes that were made to the game of curling are things that not only remain vital and make curling what it is in the present time but it was also influenced by Canadians.
 

Sources:

Murray, W. H. 1982. The curling companion. Rev ed. Toronto: Collins.

Simpson, Robert Wayne. 1980. The influences of the montreal curling club on the development of curling in the canadas, 1807-1857. London, Ont.: Faculty of Graduate Studies, University of Western Ontario.

The Picture is from: The Library and Archives Canada: Bonspiel! The History of Curling in Canada
http://www.collectionscanada.gc.ca/curling/024005-5007-e.html


M2000.38.11
© Musée McCord
Impresion
Inauguration du club de curling Caledonia, Montréal, QC, 1869
James Inglis
1869, 19e siècle
Don du Montreal Thistle Curling Club
M2000.38.11
© Musée McCord

Clefs de l'histoire:

Une gamme de nouveaux sports

Les principaux promoteurs de la pratique sportive sont les associations. La création de regroupements d'amateurs de sport n'est pas un phénomène complètement nouveau, puisque ce type de regroupements avaient commencé à apparaître en grand nombre dès le début des années 1800. Mais l'existence des premières associations est souvent brève. À partir de 1870, la situation évolue, et de nouveaux clubs, dont les activités sont définies par des normes beaucoup plus précises et détaillées, voient le jour de plus en plus régulièrement. Induite en partie par la nouvelle organisation du temps propre à l'ère industrielle et par l'urbanisation croissante de la population, la rationalisation de la pratique du sport permet de mieux contenir le côté désordonné et parfois violent des activités de divertissement traditionnelles et populaires. La réglementation accrue vient aussi du désir des joueurs d'améliorer leur performance.

Quoi:

En l'absence d'installations sportives publiques, qui n'apparaissent qu'à la fin du XIXe siècle, seules les associations privées les mieux nanties, tel le Montreal Caledonia Curling Club, disposent d'un équipement adéquat.

Où:

Avec l'urbanisation croissante, particulièrement dans les grandes villes, il devient de plus en plus difficile de trouver des espaces libres pour exercer des activités physiques comme le curling. À Montréal par contre, le fleuve Saint-Laurent demeure une solution de remplacement pour pratiquer cette activité.

Quand:

Au moment où le Caledonia Curling Club ouvre ses portes, en 1869, il n'existe que des patinoires couvertes privées dans les diverses villes canadiennes.

Qui:

Comme ces endroits sont privés, ils ne sont accessibles qu'aux personnes capables de payer la cotisation nécessaire pour en devenir membres.

09319
Montreal Caledonia Curling Rink
Opening of the Montreal Caledonia Curling Rink by His Highness Prince Arthur
unknown
Dec. 15 1869
09319

Commentaires:

This picture is from: The Library and Archives Canada: Bonspiel! The History of Curling in Canada
http://data2.collectionscanada.gc.ca/ap/a/a029045.jpg


09314
Indoor Curling
"Canadian Winter Sports, Curling"
Source: Ian McDonald
09314

Commentaires:

The move to indoor curling also introduced the innovation of the hack in which the players were (the hack is still used in curling at the present time) able to position themselves and align their rocks to take the shot that they wanted and push themselves out and slide on the ice to give their shot a little more accuracy and to guide it (before the hog line). This led to the creation of the 'take out game' before curling was more of a draw game (W.H. Murray pages 121-122)

Sources:

Murray, W. H. 1982. The curling companion. Rev ed. Toronto: Collins.

The picture is from: The Library and Archives Canada: Bonspiel! The History of Curling in Canada
http://www.collectionscanada.gc.ca/obj/024005/f1/xx011939-v6.jpg


Conclusion:

Since the game of curling came to exist, it has gone through many transitional phases and many adaptations, but none as drastic as the ones that were made in Lower Canada particularly within the first fifty years of it being introduced in the country. Though Canadians can not be credited for all of the innovations made to the game, they can be deemed as leaders in progressing the game further an therefore adding some Canadian recognition to the game.


© Musée McCord Museum