The Atwater Library of the Mechanic's Institute of Montreal

Type of resource
The Atwater Library of the Mechanic's Institute of Montreal
In 1828, some prominent Montreal citizens formed the Montreal Mechanics Institution because they saw a need to educate workers for the emerging industries of the growing city. Patron of the new organization was Sir James Kempt, governor of Lower Canada and first president was Louis Gugy, sheriff of Montreal. Vice-presidents were industrialist John Molson; merchant Horatio Gates; Louis-Joseph Papineau, speaker of the Assembly of Lower Canada, and the Assembly's representative from the west end of the city; and Rev. Henry Esson, educator and Church of Scotland pastor of the St. Gabriel Street Church. Active members appear to have been mainly artisans, craftsmen and shopkeepers who were employers. By 1834, pre-Rebellion political unrest in Montreal, as well as rivalries based on religion and educational objectives, led to a suspension of activities of the Institution. The last meeting was held on March 24, 1835. In 1840, with the Rebellions passed and Montreal returning to political peace, the Mechanics' Institute of Montreal was formed--a revitalization of the previous Institution. Today, Montreal's Atwater Library is the sole survivor of the many mechanics' institutes established in Canada in the 19th century.
Atwater Library
# of Pages
The Atwater Library of the Mechanic’s Institute of Montreal. Montreal: Atwater Library, 1973.
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