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The Construction of the Victoria Bridge, Montreal, Canada - 1859
Great Canadian Heritage Treasure
Silver Victoria Bridge Presentation Trowel, 1859
Orig. silver - Size - 13.75"
Found & MISSED - Toronto, ON
Makers, Signed Savage & Lyman
"This trowel was used by Mrs. Hodges in laying the foundation stone of the last pier of the Victoria Bridge, on Saturday, 13 August, 1859"
A fabulous antique trowel, used by Mrs. Hodges, in laying the foundation stone of the last pier of the Victoria Bridge, in Montreal, Canada East, in 1859.

The Victoria Bridge was probably the biggest construction project of the age, under the direction of the Chief Engineer, James Hodges.

Great Canadian Heritage Treasure
Construction, Victoria Bridge, Montreal, 1859
Orig. lithograph - Image Size - 9" x 12"
Found - New York, NY
Orig. lithograph in two tints on fine wove paper, published as "Staging the Centre Tube," by John Weale, London, 1860
The Great Victoria Bridge: The Victoria Bridge - named in honour of Queen Victoria - was created as the longest bridge in the world. It was built by engineer James Hodges, right, as a long tube, of closed square boxes riveted together. Left is shown the assembly of the "centre tube." In spite of setbacks because of ice and the extreme cold, the bridge was opened to rail traffic on Dec. 19, 1859, only four months after Mrs. Hodges used the trowel above.

The smoke inside the bridge - not to mention the noise in the enclosed space - as a train went through, was horrific. The boxes were ultimately replaced with the open grillwork the bridge has today.

The Victoria Bridge was officially opened by Prince Edward during his visit in September, 1860. This marvellous lithograph captures a wonderful moment in the history of one of Canada's greatest construction projects.

A Marvel of the Age: The construction project was one of the marvels of the age. All construction materials had to be brought to the piers by rafts and ships of various kinds.

In parallel to the construction, Hodges produced two volumes detailing the work on the bridge. The book featured sumptuous lithographs from which these have been disbound. The two books intact, are available for sale on the internet for $22,500 US. Call us if you would like to buy them and donate them to the Boer War Museum.

Great Canadian Heritage Treasure
Construction, Victoria Bridge, Montreal, 1859
Orig. lithograph - Image Size - 9" x 12"
Found - New York, NY
Orig. lithograph in two tints on fine wove paper, published as "View from Below South Abutment," by John Weale, London, 1860
Below the Prince of Wales (on the right) drives in the last rivet, before declaring the bridge open.

Below left, a contemporary drawing showing the majesty of the accomplishment being hailed by all manner of commerce that would now flow, with great hopes of prosperity, beneath it.

Below left, a contemporary view of the open grillwork.

Great Canadian Heritage Treasure
Edward, Prince of Wales, 1860
Orig. lithograph - Image Size - 11" x 17.5"
Found - Toronto, ON
Orig. lithograph, pub. 1860, painted by F Winterhalter in 1859, drawn on stone by JA Vinter
Only in Canada: Above is a rare lithograph of "HIS ROYAL HIGHNESS ALBERT EDWARD PRINCE OF WALES From a picture, the property of Her Majesty the Queen, graciously lent for publication and distribution exclusively in Canada in Commemoration of the Visit of His Royal Highness."

This gives a wonderful image of what the Prince looked like as he drove the final rivet and toured what was then Canada - well anyway, the eastern part of it.

Edward became famous for having to wait 41 more years for his mother to die, so he could be King. But he did not pass the time idly; he dutifully spent his time in sundry pursuits involving too much wine, women, and eating.

He finally became King in 1902, but ruled only till 1910, when he died of too much of everything, except common sense.

Left, is the scene at Toronto, with the Prince arriving, aboard the steamer in the left background, just as it was painted by Canadian painter William Armstrong, who was there.

In fact the Prince of Wales was so impressed that he bought the first copy of this painting.

Actually after a life spent in excessive personal pandering, Edward, as King, surprised many. He used his personal links with family and friends in many countries - parties took him everywhere - to heal the bonds among European countries, that had been torn asunder by Britain's ruthless behaviour against the Boers in South Africa. Quite justifiably he was called, even while alive, The Peacemaker.

c Goldi Productions Ltd. 1996 & 2000 & 2005