I-17906.1 | James Hodges, engineer to the contractors for Victoria Bridge, Montreal, QC, 1865

 
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James Hodges, engineer to the contractors for Victoria Bridge, Montreal, QC, 1865
William Notman (1826-1891)
1865, 19th century
Silver salts on paper mounted on paper - Albumen process
8 x 5 cm
Purchase from Associated Screen News Ltd.
I-17906.1
© McCord Museum
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Keywords:  male (26812) , Photograph (77678) , portrait (53878)
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Description

Immigrants fleeing poverty in their country of origin saw the chance to work on large-scale Montreal construction projects as a golden opportunity. James Hodge (1814-1879) was in charge of manpower for the construction of the Victoria Bridge, which paid salaries one and half times higher than those offered for comparable work in Europe. Widely recognized as a talented engineer and excellent manager, Hodge was also a great leader of men who knew how to get the most out of his workers while showing them respect and concern for their well-being.

Keys to History

In building the Victoria Bridge, the firm of Peto, Brassey and Betts drew upon the expertise of the engineer James Hodges (1814-1879), whom it brought out of retirement as the only man to whom "they would with confidence entrust the gigantic untried work." Hodges was in charge of construction of not only the Victoria Bridge but of all the bridges, buildings, road beds and tracks between Montreal and Toronto.