Montreal’s Industrial Heritage

Montreal a cradle of much industrial innovation.

Today the big news item is that two companies with associations to Montr?al for over 100 years may combine. The companies are of course Alcoa and Alcan. Many may be surprised at the industrial history of Montr?al. Montr?al has been a source of much industrial innovation and creativity. Another well-known name that was recently mentioned on CBC Montr?al was HMV, which originally stood for His Master’s Voice.

HMV - His Master's Voice

It was Emile Berliner who invented the gramophone and the record. His works can be found in the Mus?e des ondes Emile Berliner. This is located in the old RCA Victor factory in the St. Henri district of Montreal. It is one of the rare institutions dedicated to the history of technology and industrialisation of Quebec and has been open to the public since January 24, 1996.

Berliner set up his Montreal headquarters in 1900. At the time, Berliner Gramophone had a retail store and offices located at 2315 St. Catherine St. The factory was at 367 – 368 Aqueduct St. (now Lucien L’Allier St.)

RCA Victor gramophone

The earliest advertisement dates from November 1900 in the Canadian Magazine and states that the gramophones were made in Canada. On December 22, 1900, the Berliner Gram-O-phone Company (this is the spelling popularized in ads and which appeared on signs at the shop for many years) placed an ad in the Montreal French-language newspaper La Patrie declaring that recordings were available in French. More details are available on the Museum’s website.

You can find more details on this museum and many other museums across Canada on the Virtual Museum of Canada (VMC).

If you want to find other examples of Montreal’s Industrial Heritage, the following websites will be useful:

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