Wednesday, November 21, 2012

On this Day: First Car in Montreal

The first "horseless-carriage" to be driven in the streets of Montreal was a Waltham Steam. It was driven by Mr Ucal-Henri Dandurand, on the 21st of November, 1899. His passenger was the then Major of Montreal, Raymond Préfontaine.

The car was bought from Massachusetts in the United States for $600, and ran on 6 water reservoirs, with a range of a whopping 24 miles before having to be refilled. It could reach a high speed of 40 mph, but had to be stopped when there was a horse-drawn carriage in view, so as not to scare the horses.

By 1903, Mr Dandurand had a total of 4 automobiles, but not everyone approved of such noisy vehicles, and he was often stopped for disrupting the peace.

Mr Ucal-Henri Dandurand and his wife in his first car. (source)

Mr Dandurand outside his house, with car and chauffeur (1915) (source)

Links

CBC Radio Link (in french).
M. Ucal-Henri Dandurand (in french).
Maison Durand (in french).

Edit 25-11-2014

MTLblog has an article on the same subject, 1 year later.

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