Wednesday 24 August 2016

Louis Vallee Photographs Old Quebec

Basse-ville de Quebec - Louis-Prudent Vallee vers 1880.jpg

In 1839, Louis DaGuerre succeeded in capturing a unique image on a copper plate, named the daguerrotype.  People called it "a mirror with a memory".  The Quebec Gazette, the Toronto Patriot, and the Halifax Colonial Pearl reported on the daguerrotype and itinerant daguerrotypists set up shop in hotel rooms and stores, eager to capitalize on the new technology.  However, the process was slow and was eventually replaced with photography.

In the 1860's, Louis Prudent Vallee opened a studio in Quebec City and soon became known for his photographs of his hometown.  Vallee captured the capital before the departure of British troops in 1871 and after the demolition of military installations.  Old Quebec's walls remind us of how the city used to serve as a fort.  Vallee also documented the urban development at the end of the 1800's.  Vallee's Catalogue of Photographic Views of Quebec City and Vicinity, published in 1899, served as a good record of local history in the latter half of the 19th Century.

Louis-Prudent Vallée: His work is a record of the 19th century in Quebec City. “The photograph on the stamp was taken circa 1894.”

A Quebec City street circa 1894

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