II-136538 | C.P.R. freight department, Montreal, QC, 1901

C.P.R. freight department, Montreal, QC, 1901
Wm. Notman & Son
1901, 20th century
Silver salts on glass - Gelatin dry plate process
20 x 25 cm
Purchase from Associated Screen News Ltd.
© McCord Museum
Keywords:  architecture (335) , commercial (84) , for Linotype Company (1) , freight department (1) , group (644) , informal (14) , interior (40) , male (1608) , Occupation (1110) , office (7) , Photograph (77678) , portrait (61) , typist (1) , work (389) , work (126)
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Keys to History

This view of clerks typing orders in the CPR freight department is a reminder that at one time most office workers were men. So were all telephone operators. By 1890, however, 64% of stenographers and typists in the United States were women. The typewriter, invented in 1867 by an American named Scholes, opened a new field of work for women, eventually replacing domestic service as a major employer of women. Since this picture was taken in 1901, we may assume that the CPR was behind the times in the employment of women. Today typewriters, like male typists, are all but extinct.

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

  • What

    Here we see a roomful of typewriters operated by clerks.

  • Where

    The CPR freight office in Montreal.

  • When

    The typewriter was invented in the United States in 1867.

  • Who

    The typewriter made clerks much more productive and gave new employment opportunities to women. All the clerks in this photo, however, are men.