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The Sport of Ice Hockey

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Old
05-03-2014, 10:49 AM
  #1
Canadiens1958
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The Sport of Ice Hockey

PART I

Purpose of this thread is exploring, perhaps identifying when ice hockey started emerging as a sport, moving beyond that of a pastime activity.

Motivated by a recent thread:

http://hfboards.hockeysfuture.com/sh....php?t=1621483

and a specific post:

http://hfboards.hockeysfuture.com/sh...&postcount=101

The thread and post in question both open a window to an interesting topic yet bypass two important considerations.

1.) When did ice hockey become a sport as opposed to a pastime?

2.) Does first or earliest set the foundation for continuity and growth of a pastime? a sport?

Best example of a definition of a sport as it pertains to Ice Hockey comes from the noted Québec Sports Historian Donald Guay. "L'histoire du hockey au Québec" 1990, 293 pages, ISBN 2-920176-81-1, Les Éditions JCL Inc.

http://www.jcl.qc.ca

Summarized, from Chapter 1, pages 18 and 19. Sport is a physical activity, pleasurful, competitive, rewarding, played according to written rules and a sporting spirit.(my translation)

In the following installments this will be examined in greater detail. When did Ice Hockey rise to the level of a sport in this context?

First or earliest, a noble exercise that often takes the focus away from the main objective of historical accuracy since the joy of finding a first or earliest removes attention from a key historical element continuity combined with growth. Finding old references or images from antiquity presents interesting curiosities BUT doing so does not prove or even illustrate how or when a pastime was elevated to the level of a sport.

As for the list of firsts submitted in the post that motivated this thread, they are interesting curiosities but far from sufficient when it comes to pinpointing the approximate time that ice hockey was elevated to the level of a sport.

Two specifically are worthy of greater attention. Future installments will go into greater detail.
1.) First contemporary report of an actual game between two identified teams.

This points to March 3, 1875. Game was publicized in the Gazette and reported the following day.Captain Torrance vs Captain creighton,, 9 on 9, Victoria Skating Rink in Montréal. Advance publicity, played Inside with a fairly detailed post event report the next day in The Gazette. Continuity and growth of the sport of Ice Hockey may be established from this date.

2.) First published ice hockey rules. I take this to mean found to date.

Somewhat of a cart before the horse situation. In the haste to claim a first or earliest there is a tendency to overlook rather obvious détails or fail to ask pressing questions.

This is evidence in the attempts to link the sport of Ice Hockey Rules to Field Hockey Rules. Donald Guay mentions the appearance of the February 27, 1877 rules in The Gazette. Actually produces them on page 43 of his book.

The difficulty that such efforts have is that the produced rules make no mention of ICE SKATING as defining ice hockey or mandatory for all participating players.

Whether an "understanding" or "self-evident", the requirement of Ice Skating would be a key and major component of Ice Hockey specific rules. As a result all that has been presented as "First Ice Hockey Rules" does not pass the test since there is no recognition of the role of Ice Skating. As such all that has been proposed as "First Rules", at best fits under the contributing drafts towards Ice Hockey rules umbrella.

In future installments rules or accepted conventions prior to March 3, 1875 will be examined.


Last edited by Canadiens1958: 05-04-2014 at 11:50 AM.
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05-03-2014, 06:41 PM
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Robert Gordon Orr
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Canadiens1958 View Post
PART I

Purpose of this thread is exploring, perhaps identifying when ice hockey started emerging as a sport, moving beyond that of a pastime activity.

The thread and post in question both open a window to an interesting topic yet bypass two important considerations.

1.) When did ice hockey become a sport as opposed to a pastime?

2.) Does first or earliest set the foundation for continuity and growth of a pastime? a sport?

Great topic start Canadiens1958. In order to answer some of these questions above we first need to establish at least one thing:

What elements make a pastime becoming a sport ?
Written rules ?, Paying audience ?, Playing for a prize/money ?, A planned event in advance ?

What qualifies ice hockey to be seen as just a simple pastime ?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Canadiens1958 View Post
As for the list of firsts submitted in the post that motivated this thread, they are interesting curiosities but far from sufficient when it comes to pinpointing the approximate time that ice hockey was elevated to the level of a sport.
In order to answer that question one has to answer my previous question. What elements changes it from a pastime to a sport ?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Canadiens1958 View Post
Two specifically are worthy of greater attention. Future installments will go into greater detail.

1.) First contemporary report of an actual game between two identified teams.

This points to March 3, 1875. Game was publicized in the Gazette and reported the following day.Captain Torrance vs Captain creighton,, 9 on 9, Victoria Skating Rink in Montréal. Advance publicity, played Inside with a fairly detailed post event report the next day in The Gazette. Continuity and growth of the sport of Ice Hockey may be established from this date.
Montreal (1875) is the first instance in Canada that we have a contemporary report of an ice hockey game between two identified teams.
However, there are several instances of contemporary ice hockey game reports between two identified teams in England before 1875.


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Originally Posted by Canadiens1958 View Post
2.) First published ice hockey rules. I take this to mean found to date.
In future installments rules or accepted conventions prior to March 3, 1875 will be examined.
The published ice hockey rules from Montreal were second to England.

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05-04-2014, 12:01 PM
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Sport

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Originally Posted by Robert Gordon Orr View Post
Great topic start Canadiens1958. In order to answer some of these questions above we first need to establish at least one thing:

What elements make a pastime becoming a sport ?
Written rules ?, Paying audience ?, Playing for a prize/money ?, A planned event in advance ?


What qualifies ice hockey to be seen as just a simple pastime ?



In order to answer that question one has to answer my previous question. What elements changes it from a pastime to a sport ?



Montreal (1875) is the first instance in Canada that we have a contemporary report of an ice hockey game between two identified teams.
However, there are several instances of contemporary ice hockey game reports between two identified teams in England before 1875.




The published ice hockey rules from Montreal were second to England.
This question about "Sport" was answered in the opening post:

Sport is a physical activity, pleasureful, competitive, rewarding, played according to written rules and a sporting spirit.(my translation)

Pastime speaks for itself - walking for relaxation and/or recreation is a pastime. Regulated to differentiate from other types of human mobility, running, crawling, hopping, etc, to satisfy the above.

Pre 1875 in Britain lacked the element of continuity for consideration, so it is at the pastime level.Similar to Kingston 1855 is definitively verified as there are doubts about whether Lake Ontario could have supported skating on the date in question due to weather conditions.

1875 in Montréal establishes continuity. Recognized by Michael McKinley in his book " Putting a Roof on Winter".

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05-04-2014, 12:30 PM
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Originally Posted by Canadiens1958 View Post
Pre 1875 in Britain lacked the element of continuity for consideration, so it is at the pastime level.Similar to Kingston 1855 is definitively verified as there are doubts about whether Lake Ontario could have supported skating on the date in question due to weather conditions.

1875 in Montréal establishes continuity. Recognized by Michael McKinley in his book " Putting a Roof on Winter".
In order to have any meaningful dialogue on this subject, you need to do the proper research yourself and not believe blindly in what someone recognized in an obscure book. Pre 1875 Britain did certainly NOT lack the element of continuity. I have done the proper research in contemporary British newspapers, have you ? If not, then I would be careful stating it as some sort of fact that there was no element of continuity in Britain before 1875.

I will bite my tongue for now and wait until someone actually has done some sort of research that goes beyond the Canadian/North American border.

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05-04-2014, 12:47 PM
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Please.....

Quote:
Originally Posted by Robert Gordon Orr View Post
In order to have any meaningful dialogue on this subject, you need to do the proper research yourself and not believe blindly in what someone recognized in an obscure book. Pre 1875 Britain did certainly NOT lack the element of continuity. I have done the proper research in contemporary British newspapers, have you ? If not, then I would be careful stating it as some sort of fact that there was no element of continuity in Britain before 1875.

I will bite my tongue for now and wait until someone actually has done some sort of research that goes beyond the Canadian/North American border.
Donald Guay is an excellent historian that unfortunately your research failed to turn up. He authored three well researched books on physical education 1836 into the 1960s in the Québec provincial school system.

If you have done the research provide the actual links and documentation.

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05-04-2014, 02:32 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Robert Gordon Orr View Post
In order to have any meaningful dialogue on this subject, you need to do the proper research yourself and not believe blindly in what someone recognized in an obscure book. Pre 1875 Britain did certainly NOT lack the element of continuity. I have done the proper research in contemporary British newspapers, have you ? If not, then I would be careful stating it as some sort of fact that there was no element of continuity in Britain before 1875.

I will bite my tongue for now and wait until someone actually has done some sort of research that goes beyond the Canadian/North American border.
Then you must provide the proof including links in refuting the thesis & the source documents uncovered by the poster to whom your responding. I would advise you provide that proof as youve strongly intimated that you are in fact aware of, possess knowledge here-to-for unknown, undiscovered by several generations of hockey history buffs, serious hockey historians, authors & journalists.... in other words Mr. Orr, Show Time.

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05-04-2014, 04:23 PM
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Originally Posted by Canadiens1958 View Post
Donald Guay is an excellent historian that unfortunately your research failed to turn up. He authored three well researched books on physical education 1836 into the 1960s in the Québec provincial school system.

If you have done the research provide the actual links and documentation.
Yes, I am perfectly aware of Donald Guay, although I only have his book "L'Histoire du Hockey au Québec" from 1990. It is very well researched when it comes to early hockey in the Québec area. He has almost 750 references, but only a handful European, and I believe no European newspaper references at all.
His focus was on Québec so unfortunately his research was very limited outside of that area.

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Then you must provide the proof including links in refuting the thesis & the source documents uncovered by the poster to whom your responding. I would advise you provide that proof as youve strongly intimated that you are in fact aware of, possess knowledge here-to-for unknown, undiscovered by several generations of hockey history buffs, serious hockey historians, authors & journalists.... in other words Mr. Orr, Show Time.
We can start off by providing contemporary sources from Canada to get the ball rolling. That would give us a starting point on where we stand in terms of various claims (First organized game, first written rules etc,etc).

Since there seems to be so many hockey history buffs, serious hockey historians, authors and journalists here, it would be interesting to hear what you guys consider to be so called "ice hockey firsts". Year (date) and place should be enough, supported by contemporary sources of course.

When that is done, we can start discussing the topic more seriously.
I will provide my sources in due time. I suspect that I have most of the Aces at the moment, so I lay low until we establish something that can eventually be challenged.

Now of course I am provoking you guys a little bit (in a friendly way), but we have to start somewhere.

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05-04-2014, 06:05 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Robert Gordon Orr View Post
We can start off by providing contemporary sources from Canada to get the ball rolling. That would give us a starting point on where we stand in terms of various claims (First organized game, first written rules etc,etc).

Since there seems to be so many hockey history buffs, serious hockey historians, authors and journalists here, it would be interesting to hear what you guys consider to be so called "ice hockey firsts". Year (date) and place should be enough, supported by contemporary sources of course.

Now of course I am provoking you guys a little bit (in a friendly way), but we have to start somewhere.
Your quite welcome to start a thread called exactly that if you'd like, "Hockey Firsts". Wide range of topics. This thread however is about the origins & development of the game (first recorded game, origins of the rules including upon what sports they were founded & then recorded which tangentially includes stick & ball games along with the introduction of the puck, by whom, where & when, goal posts, numbers aside, designated positions etc). Canadiens58 has provided contemporaneous reports from the time period of 1875/1943, empirical evidence which you allude to as being false. So again (and in a friendly way) I will ask you to provide proof with links that will refute the claims made by the journalist ('s) & reporters in his linked articles.

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05-04-2014, 06:20 PM
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... and heres a good place to start:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Robert Gordon Orr View Post
In order to understand the complete dynamics of the hockey origins, one has to do research on both sides of the pond... Even though this may not be the appropriate thread to discuss the early years of the sport, it is worth pointing out a few key elements of ice hockey that has its roots in England, like for example:

The first use of the word hockey in connection with the game
• The first puck/bung used in connection with hockey on the ice
• First contemporary report of an actual game between two identified teams
• First goaltenders used
• First referees/umpires used
• First published ice hockey rules
• First published ice hockey rules by an organized sports organization
• First organized ice hockey game


One think that the above facts alone would capture the interest of Canadian hockey researchers.
Kindly provide links for the above as your refuting evidence (without providing any of your own to back it up) whilst being critical of discussions being held herein that is based in part on the following series of articles published in 1943 with quotes culled from the newspapers of the 1870's.


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05-04-2014, 07:33 PM
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Originally Posted by Killion View Post
... and heres a good place to start:



Kindly provide links for the above as your refuting evidence (without providing any of your own to back it up) whilst being critical of discussions being held herein that is based in part on the following series of articles published in 1943 with quotes culled from the newspapers of the 1870's.
I haven't seen any contemporary sources yet, except for the series of Orlick articles from Montreal Gazette in 1943 where he quotes old (and many times incomplete) articles from 1875 and 1876 (mostly). It would help by posting the complete originals from the 1870s, so that we can examine them.
They are of course just the first step as Orlick only researched Canadian newspapers, mostly from Montreal. But it is a good starting point.
I am of course no novice, so I have seen all the originals, but it would be good for others to also see them, people who might not be so familiar with what happened in the 1870s around Montreal.

Or anyone of you can start posting where you think the origins started, in form of first recorded games, published rules, use of puck/bung and so on.
When you have established what you believe are the so called origins of the game, we'll have a good platform for us to discuss.

Right now there is no reason for me to post any links/sources until I have a good understanding of what people are claiming here, and of course until we have established any kind of specific starting points. Naturally we will find out in the end that some things originated in England, and some in Canada.

I am calm as a cucumber here and I know that I am in the driver's seat as I am probably one of the few ones here not biased towards a specific country or continent. I only deal with facts and I am totally uninterested in defending any territory just for the sake of it, or national pride.
So I I hope all will refrain from name calling and other stuff as this is will eventually become a touchy subject for many. From what I have seen here though, I know that Canadiens1958 and Killion will keep it civilized, and I value that.

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05-04-2014, 07:48 PM
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So I I hope all will refrain from name calling and other stuff as this is will eventually become a touchy subject for many. From what I have seen here though, I know that Canadiens1958 and Killion will keep it civilized, and I value that.
... of that you can be rest assured, and no proof of proofs huh? Well, hopefully some comments or statements here-in will motivate you to provide some. Be very interested to see your source files. Where your digging this stuff up from that few others seem able to find.

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05-04-2014, 07:57 PM
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... of that you can be rest assured, and no proof of proofs huh? Well, hopefully some comments or statements here-in will motivate you to provide some. Be very interested to see your source files. Where your digging this stuff up from that few others seem able to find.
Nope, I'll wait with my sources/links until the time is right and after we've established some good starting points to work from.

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05-05-2014, 07:15 AM
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Quote:
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I haven't seen any contemporary sources yet, except for the series of Orlick articles from Montreal Gazette in 1943 where he quotes old (and many times incomplete) articles from 1875 and 1876 (mostly). It would help by posting the complete originals from the 1870s, so that we can examine them.
Unfortunately the original articles are not available via the google news archive. Some articles can be found elsewhere online, but only a few as far as I know. It would be helpful if someone who has access to the originals (via Canadian libraries) could post them.

Quote:
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Or anyone of you can start posting where you think the origins started, in form of first recorded games, published rules, use of puck/bung and so on.
When you have established what you believe are the so called origins of the game, we'll have a good platform for us to discuss.

Right now there is no reason for me to post any links/sources until I have a good understanding of what people are claiming here
What people are claiming here is basically what Canadian sources (the one Orlick was restricted to as well) reveal, augmented by a few glimpses from other sources. Stick and ball games tried out on ice surfaces (instead of land/field) in various regions where climate allowed it, for example in the Netherlands (16-17th century) and in England (18-19th century). A disc used instead of a ball occasionally in England. The version with the ball however codified and institutionalized and also exported to the Continent. Stick and ball games played on the ice in Canada and New England too, codified and institutionalized in Montreal, with the disc ("puck") becoming the standard playing object in the 1880s, defining Canadian ice hockey as it started to expand to Europe in the 1890s.

As for your eight "firsts" quoted above, #1-3 are not controversial as far as I'm concerned and consequently #4-5 are no suprises. With #6 it comes down to what you define as ice hockey. The game with the ball? D'accord. With the disc? Paint me surpised. #7-8 are news to me, even if I assume you have the game with the ball in mind.

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05-06-2014, 10:08 AM
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Originals

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Originally Posted by Theokritos View Post
Unfortunately the original articles are not available via the google news archive. Some articles can be found elsewhere online, but only a few as far as I know. It would be helpful if someone who has access to the originals (via Canadian libraries) could post them.



What people are claiming here is basically what Canadian sources (the one Orlick was restricted to as well) reveal, augmented by a few glimpses from other sources. Stick and ball games tried out on ice surfaces (instead of land/field) in various regions where climate allowed it, for example in the Netherlands (16-17th century) and in England (18-19th century). A disc used instead of a ball occasionally in England. The version with the ball however codified and institutionalized and also exported to the Continent. Stick and ball games played on the ice in Canada and New England too, codified and institutionalized in Montreal, with the disc ("puck") becoming the standard playing object in the 1880s, defining Canadian ice hockey as it started to expand to Europe in the 1890s.

As for your eight "firsts" quoted above, #1-3 are not controversial as far as I'm concerned and consequently #4-5 are no suprises. With #6 it comes down to what you define as ice hockey. The game with the ball? D'accord. With the disc? Paint me surpised. #7-8 are news to me, even if I assume you have the game with the ball in mind.
The originals will eventually be posted once I have a chance to get to the Québec archives and library in Montreal. Their digitalization program is opening access to previously unavailable documents. If someone can prepare a list of dates and they would like to see in original form PLMK either in the thread or via PM. Subject to acts of good faith previously exhibited.

That said I am not interested in discussing cucumbers or other vegetables, or playing card games so appropriate action has been taken.

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05-06-2014, 10:16 AM
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Firsts

As stated initially the thread has been hijacked into a list of first. Not the objective.

Re-stating from the seminal post in this thread;

Purpose of this thread is exploring, perhaps identifying when ice hockey started emerging as a sport, moving beyond that of a pastime activity.

Considering:


1.) When did ice hockey become a sport as opposed to a pastime?

2.) Does first or earliest set the foundation for continuity and growth of a pastime? a sport?

Best example of a definition of a sport as it pertains to Ice Hockey comes from the noted Québec Sports Historian Donald Guay. "L'histoire du hockey au Québec" 1990, 293 pages, ISBN 2-920176-81-1, Les Éditions JCL Inc.

Summarized, from Chapter 1, pages 18 and 19. Sport is a physical activity, pleasurful, competitive, rewarding, played according to written rules and a sporting spirit.(my translation)

as starting points.


Last edited by Canadiens1958: 05-06-2014 at 10:18 AM. Reason: addition
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05-07-2014, 04:11 AM
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Quote:
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If someone can prepare a list of dates...
Early dates and sources I am aware of:

1875
Montreal Gazette, March 3rd: Quoted by Orlick and looking rather complete.
Montreal Gazette, March 4th: Same as above.
Montreal Daily Witness, March 4th : Available online.
British Whig (later known as Kingston Whig-Standard), March 5th: Have only seen a quote of two sentences online.
Montreal Gazette, March 15th: Quoted by Orlick, but only partially.
Montreal Gazette, March 17th: Same as above.

1876
Montreal Gazette, February 3rd: Mentioned by Orlick, but not quoted.
Montreal Gazette, February 4th: Mentioned by Orlick, not quoted.
Montreal Gazette, February 7th: Recently made available on this board, but parts are hard to read.
Montreal Gazette, February 25th: Quoted by Orlick, looks rather complete.
Montreal Gazette, March 29th: Quoted by Orlick, looks rather complete.
Montreal Gazette, March 31st: Quoted by Orlick, only one sentence, incomplete?

1877
McGill University Gazette, February 1st: Quoted by Orlick, but only partially.
Montreal Gazette, February 2nd: List of published rules available online, but maybe there was more text in the article?
McGill University Gazette, March 19: Quoted by Orlick, but only partially.
McGill University Gazette, April 1st: Have only seen a very short quote online.
McGill University Gazette, December 1st: Quoted by Orlick, but only partially.

Articles not quoted at all or quoted only partially would naturally be the most interesting ones.

Note that this list is probably not complete, it only contains articles I have seen mentioned/refered to online.

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05-07-2014, 10:27 AM
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Clarification

Clarification - the Québec provincial archives and Library(BANQ) during the last five+ years has undergone a transition from a repository approach to an interactive approach adding the necessary equipment and opening regional branches.

The BANQ has also embarked on an ambitious digitalization program that allows access to previously unavailable publications via other sources - Google archives, etc.

The Montreal Star and Montreal Herald plus numerous French newspapers in Québec fit under this umbrella.

The real value will be in the counterpoint or alternative presentation of stories that we already have access to as well as going beyond the snippet level of data that we have from archived sources.


Last edited by Canadiens1958: 05-16-2014 at 09:34 AM.
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05-16-2014, 09:39 AM
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Indoor Ice Facilities

List of indoor ice facilities:

1851 Skating Club House - Quebec City.

1862 Victoria Skating Club - Montreal.

1870 Thistle Curling Club - Montreal.

1873 Québec Skating Rink, Quebec City

1943 Gazette article about the Thistle Curling Club.

http://news.google.com/newspapers?id...3420%2C2930792

Province of Québec was a leader in building indoor ice rinks in the second half of the 19th century.

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05-16-2014, 12:33 PM
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Indoor Ice Rinks - 19th Century

Some of the indoor ice rinks in the province of Québec built in the second have of the 19th century, ibid Donald Guay, p 35,64, 244.

Very few images around of the Montagnard Rink which was at the corner of Duluth and St. Hubert in Montreal.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg numérisation010001.jpg‎ (1.89 MB, 4 views)
File Type: jpg numérisation010008.jpg‎ (890.4 KB, 4 views)
File Type: jpg numérisation010004.jpg‎ (1.06 MB, 6 views)


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05-16-2014, 12:41 PM
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19th Century Sticks

Images of sticks used in various 19th century sports. ibid Donald Guay p 61.
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05-16-2014, 12:43 PM
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Playing Surface Dimensions

Playing surface dimensions, 19th century, for various sports.
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05-16-2014, 12:48 PM
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19th Century Montreal Arena

Three interior views ibid Donald Guay p 92 and 93.
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05-16-2014, 06:04 PM
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Killion
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Montreal Arena 1899

^^^ Heres a clearer picture of it...



Believed to be the first indoor arena with "rounded corners".

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05-16-2014, 06:25 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Canadiens1958 View Post
Some of the indoor ice rinks in the province of Québec built in the second have of the 19th century, ibid Donald Guay, p 35,64, 244.
Again, mention that "hockey is very much the vogue in parts of New England & the United States" which if contemporaneous with the Victoria rink & date beneath that blurb puts it at 1862. So if the games "much the vogue" in the US, how come we cant find any newspaper clipping or stories from somewhere down in that area confirming as much? Very strange. Maybe just not mined properly by specifically a hockey historian looking. No idea. Mystery. Seems possible the game found its way north from south of the border.

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05-16-2014, 06:38 PM
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Beef Invictus
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Killion View Post
Again, mention that "hockey is very much the vogue in parts of New England & the United States" which if contemporaneous with the Victoria rink & date beneath that blurb puts it at 1862. So if the games "much the vogue" in the US, how come we cant find any newspaper clipping or stories from somewhere down in that area confirming as much? Very strange. Maybe just not mined properly by specifically a hockey historian looking. No idea. Mystery. Seems possible the game found its way north from south of the border.
Yeah, caught that too. If it's not talked about in papers in the US I have trouble buying it. Papers from the 1860s I've studied all focus a lot on everyday activities, gossip, what's cool, etc....gotta write about something! If people were playing hockey in the US and it was the coolest thing to do, it would have generated at least a paragraph in the sidebar. Interesting or funny anecdotes that caused a public scene would have been included; injuries, falling through the ice, a brawl, the sort of things people might want to read. There would have been a mention if the author's claim is correct.

Off topic: My favorite sidebar blurb from the 1860s came from the Richmond Dispatch. It briefly told the story of a man who went hunting, got twisted drunk, built his camp fire next to a tree, then died when the fire burned through the trunk and the tree fell on his passed out form.

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