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Impressions: 250 Years of Printing in the Lives of Canadians


Introduction
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Children’s Literature and Education
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Immigration and Transportation
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Household and Family
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Agriculture and Trades
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Judicial and Political
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Newspapers and Magazines
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Leisure and Literature
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Religion
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Health
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Book-Object
Leisure and Literature

At the beginning of the last century, leisure time was very limited for most Canadians. Imported by British and Scottish immigrants, traditional sports, such as curling and cricket, were practised by officers of army garrisons and well-to-do citizens who organized their activities around clubs. By mid-century, factory owners and merchants were obliged to make the working day shorter, liberating evenings and Saturday afternoons for sporting activities. Enjoyed by all, friendly competitions occurred during association or company outings. Recreational activities such as cycling, rowing, and skating were encouraged by the development of manufactured equipment and the opening of new facilities. Canadians also began to develop their own sports such as lacrosse.

The opening of railway lines allowed teams to travel and leagues were formed. As sporting activities became more organized, rule-books and instruction manuals were printed locally. The appearance of professional sports, and by the same token, spectator sports, gave rise to a very active market for statistical manuals and programs directed at the fans.

Hobbies such as stamp and coin collecting also had their own specialized publications. Of course, reading of works of fiction had always been a favourite means of relaxation. Early Canadian novels were printed by subscription and limited to a few readers. Cheaper imported books far outweighed local productions and it was only at the beginning of this century that a few Canadian writers began to enjoy a large audience. During this century, Canadian-printed pulp magazines, comic books and popular novels did compete with the American market for certain periods of time.
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This is the first book written on this sport in Canada. W.G. Beers, one of the most famous dentists of his time, was also the main codifier and promoter of the sport of lacrosse in Canada. This publication also shows the beginning of the use of photography – in this case William Notman’s – as a mean of illustration.
Lacrosse, the National Game of Canada.
William George Beers, 1841-1900
Lacrosse, the National Game of Canada.
Montreal: Dawson Brothers, 1869. xvi, 256 p.
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Cricket was played as early as the 1820s, mainly by garrison soldiers. From Confederation to the end of the 19th century, and even with the rise in popularity of baseball and lacrosse, cricket was the most popular summer sport in Canada and was played in all parts of the country.
The Canadian Cricketer’s Guide and Review of the Past Season.
T.D. Phillipps, b.1833 and H.J. Campbell
The Canadian Cricketer’s Guide and Review of the Past Season.
Ottawa: Printed for the compilers at the Free Press Office by C.W. Mitchell, 1877. 136 p.
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Although the first curling club was formed in Montreal by a group of Scotsmen as early as 1807, the sport only became popular in the 1830s. By the 1850s it had become very popular and was played by all classes of society. The author was secretary of the Toronto Curling Club.

James Bicket
The Canadian Curler's Manual; or, An Account of Curling, as Practised in Canada: With Remarks on the History of the Game.
Toronto: Published at the office of the British Colonist for the Toronto Curling Club, 1840. 40, [1] p.
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Baseball was, at the time, one of the most popular outdoor sports in Canada, particularly in the regions situated close to the United States. Shown here are the rules of baseball or balle-au-camp written in the Micmac language. One can see from the advertisement at the end, that this pamphlet was mainly distributed in New Brunswick where Micmac baseball teams were numerous.
Altjematimgeoel. Spalding's Baseball Rules in Micmac.
Altjematimgeoel. Spalding's Baseball Rules in Micmac.
Rimouski, Québec.: Imprimerie générale S. Vachon, 1912. 31, [1] p.
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American professional baseball was very popular, but this publication is mainly devoted to semi-professional and amateur teams in Quebec.
Bottin officiel de baseball. Édition 1933.
Ernest Comte, ed.
Bottin officiel de baseball. Édition 1933.
Montréal: L’Association provinciale de Baseball, [1933]. 85 p.
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Version française

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Leisure and Literature (page 2 of 6)

Canada Copyright. The National Library of Canada. (Revised: 1999-05-10).