||HODGES, James (1814-1879). - S. RUSSEL (artist)
Grand Trunk Railway of Canada, Victoria Bridge, over the river St. Lawrence at Montreal
London: John Weale, 1860. Lithograph printed in two tints by Kell Brothers, with touches of hand-colouring, from a drawing by S. Russel. Fine condition, but inscription cut into with the loss of two letters. Image size (including text): 11 3/4 x 20 3/4 inches. Sheet size: 15 7/8 x 23 1/8 inches. Provenance: Thos. Wise (presentation inscription on verso of print 'Presented by The Auth[or] / to Thos Wise").
A presentation copy of this spectacular print from the 'Construction of the Great Victoria Bridge in Canada', a rare and sumptuously produced work on what was once the longest bridge in the world.
Published in 1860, Construction of the Great Victoria Bridge in Canada, is a monument both to a great 19th-century engineering achievement and also to the fascination with new technologies and techniques that characterized the period. This great work was illustrated with several fine views of the various stages of practical construction of the bridge and highly detailed engineers' plans covering all the technical aspects of the project.
James Stephenson and Alexander M. Ross were the engineers for the bridge; James Hodges built it for the contractors Sir Thomas Peto, Thomas Brassey and Edward Ladd Betts. Despite the great natural difficulties, not the least of which was the river icing up in winter, the builders encountered in its construction, the bridge was opened to passenger carrying rail traffic on December 19, 1859.
Cf. Abbey Travel 631; cf. Sabin 32342; cf. TPL 3914; cf. Spendlove The Face of Early Canada , Toronto 1958, p. 76.