People ‘swimming’ at Murray Bay (La Malbaie), Quebec. Photo taken by Livernois, c.1870.
Source: [McCord Museum MP-1981.178]
The swimming costumes are hilarious. Social niceties overcome the practical fact that heavy clothing = likely drowning. What this photo really underscores for me is that, the world over, the late nineteenth century brought the first real ability to have holidays, even a day by the river or beach, for any reasonable part of the population across the western world.
I couldn’t agree more. It’s tough to go beyond the crazy outfits in this photo, but I think you are quite correct. This ability to ‘take a break’ is something that must have been a huge game-changer for everyone.
It certainly was. I’ve seen railways listed as one of the reasons why it became affordable to go on holiday, alongside rising prosperity. The tourist industry kicked off in NZ in the 1890s for all these reasons – there are even towns, like Rotorua, specifically set up because of it.
Very neat! I just looked up Rotorua, as I knew very little about it – very interesting! I came across this : http://www.nzhistory.net.nz/media/photo/rotorua-station-booking-office
Pingback: Historical Photo: Vacation on the Quebec shore, 1870s. | www.seanmunger.com
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