Sunday, December 6, 2009

Galloping Change on Rubber Tires.

Mr. Montgomery's car. Marion in front. It is not a great picture and I fiddled with it in complicated Corel program that comes with my new laptop. I think I made it worse.

You can see how ornate the Montgomery's porch was. That's Queen Anne Style, I think. Lots of it in Richmond.

When I finish this project I am going to start on another about a Montrealer in 1910 who has two children, one who goes out West for the Wheat Boom, and one who goes out East to Malaya for the Rubber Boom.

The Wheat Boom was precipitated by a hardy strain of wheat and the railroad and the Rubber Boom by a need for tires for autombiles, which were just becoming popular with middle class men.

I have researched the Rubber Boom because my father was born in Malaya, a child of the raj as they say, and his mother lived in Malaya most of her life. I wrote a play about her trials as a POW (or internee) in Changi.

I will call the story Hot and Cold :) Certainly the Tighsolas letters vividly describe the Canadian West in that era. Herb went there as did other former Richmondites.

If anything characterizes the 1910 era, it is a sense of restlessness among people, especially young people. In fact, one of the early letters I just read, from a Minister visiting in Minnesota, says as much. This man says everyone in the church he preached in, as a candidate, seems to be looking elsewhere for a better life.

I have so many letters, because people moved around so much. Everyone was looking for a job, it seems. Citizens were leaving Richmond Quebec in droves, especially members of the English speaking population.

For those who couldn't leave, autos allowed them to get out and about as they never had before.