Jonathan Cohen

Jonathan Cohen

Posted on 09/01/2015

Photo taken on August  7, 2014

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Louis-Joseph Papineau
Napoléon Bourassa
snake oil
St-Denis Street
patent medicine
rue St-Denis
quartier latin
street art
Cie chimique Franco-Américain

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Photo replaced on September  2, 2015
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Le Franco-Américain – St-Denis Street above René Levesque, Montréal, Québec

Le Franco-Américain – St-Denis Street above René Levesque, Montréal, Québec
This gray stone building with a beautifully carved facade was constructed in 1880 by Napoléon Bourassa, a prominent Canadian architect, painter and writer. One of his sons was Henri Bourassa, a journalist and the founder of the newspaper Le Devoir. The bust above the main entrance honours Napoléon Bourassa's father-in-law, Louis-Joseph Papineau, one of the political leaders whose life work began the process by which Canada evolved towards independence. (Note the stylized initials of the two family names – Bourassa and Papineau – set in stone above each of the first floor windows.) The building is the work of Louis-Philippe Hébert

By 1906 this building housed the offices of the "Cie chimique Franco-Américain" which manufactured and sold a variety of patent medicines. As advertised in the 1906 edition of the Almanach du peuple, one of their products was a "red pill" aimed at restoring the vigour of "pale and weak" women, making their blood "rich and pure" and relieving depression, kidney pain, palpitations of the heart, and pains in the shoulders and stomach, as well as headaches and all sorts of internal maladies. The red pills were especially recommended for mothers.

The building subsequently housed the first Faculty of Dentistry in Montreal when the Université de Montreal was first created as the Montreal campus of Laval University.

Saffron Blaze, Gary Schotel, Pierre Florisoone have particularly liked this photo

Gary Schotel
Gary Schotel
Very nice !!
3 years ago.
Your beautiful capture was admired in Historical & Architectural Gems.
3 years ago.