As a history buff, I love being able to visit exhibits where I can be taken back in time to see how people lived. It is also amazing to see how people traveled short and long distances without the aid of an engine. This is why I was excited to take in Horse Power: The Paul Bienvenu Carriage Collection at The Canadian Museum of History . This exhibit will be showing from March 23, 2016, to January 7, 2018, for visitors to view and make it a mane part of their visit!
Paul Bienvenu has been collecting horse-drawn vehicles that have been made or used in Quebec for over 50 years. Bienvenu has extensive experience in the world of Canadian horses, and it has allowed him to gain an in-depth knowledge in this area of collecting. He has traveled all over Quebec and North America to cultivate his collection.
Developed by the Musée de la civilisation in Québec City, Horse Power is a collection of 18 of the 213+ horse-drawn vehicles Bienvenu has in his collection that illustrates what land transportation was like in Québec spanning a period of almost 200 years, from 1770 to 1950. These vehicles let visitors take a look back at what land travel was like for those who were able to travel by carriage.
It was such a treat to have been invited to view this exhibit. Some of these carriages helped to bring to life some of the Canadian history and culture I learned about in my studies.
One of my favourite carriages on display is the first one on display within the exhibit. The Park Ride Drag Coach was used in the late 1800s by Rothschild & fils. It was used for country and racetrack outings.
When brought to race meets, the coaches would be grouped together on the infield. Owners and guests would have a bird’s eye view of the action while seated on top of the carriage while enjoying the food they brought to feast on in comfort. There is also a second trunk at the back of the coach to hold metal ice boxes to keep food and drinks cool. It is so gorgeous! The craftsmanship can really be seen in the doors, the wheel and the other features found all over this vehicle.
The Three-Seat Phaeton was considered a “station wagon” for the affluent crowd as they were used to carry travelers and their luggage to and from the railway station. It was built by The Ledoux Carriage Co. (Bruno Ledoux) in Montréal, QC in the late 1800s. I like how there are vis-à-vis seats (seats that face each other) so travelers can talk and have fun while beginning or ending their journey. And that it the natural wood is visible.
Carriages were also built to travel through the snowy Québec winters as well! I was able to hear the Christmas carols playing in my head as I viewed this Carriole. It was built by Wilbrod Jacob around 1935.
It was used to carry travelers to events through the snow-covered Richelieu Valley. The details and artwork are visible from front to back on this vehicle. The carvings and the curled runners are gorgeous, and the seats looked so comfortable. I can only imagine how much fun winter revelers had when traveling in this sleigh.
There were also interactive tablets throughout the exhibit to help educate visitors about the various carriages. It was great to be able to learn different bits and pieces about the history of these vehicles.
There was so much to see and learn at Horse Power: The Paul Bienvenu Carriage Collection. It was fascinating to discover all of the different types of carriages used by Canadians and to learn all about the history behind them. It was also amazing to see the craftsmanship put into these vehicles. It was a beautiful exhibit to visit! Plan a visit with your family to take in all that Horse Power has in store!
Disclaimer: I received admission to the Canadian Museum of History to view Horse Power: The Paul Bienvenu Carriage Collection exhibit in order to write this review. The views expressed are my own.