The permanent exhibition To Get a Drink You Have to Sell. Advertising and Black Horse Beer in the 20th Century opened to the public on November 30, 2012, in the vaults at L’Entrepôt, in Lachine.
The exhibition takes a new look at a large holding belonging to Musée de Lachine: the Dawes Black Horse collection. This permanent collection is closely linked to the history of Lachine itself, which was a hub of Canadian industrial activity at the turn of the 20th century.
Since the Dawes Black Horse collection was acquired, in 1999, in-depth examination has revealed its value from multiple points of view. Besides its direct connection to four heritage buildings still standing in Lachine and to the history of a family of dynamic entrepreneurs, it sheds light on fascinating aspects of the history of Montréal’s brewing industry and the strategies used to market its products.
The wealth of information contained in the Dawes Black Horse collection and the nature of the objects it comprises – including numerous print ads for the famous beer – led the Musée to produce a new exhibition from the novel angle of advertising. Through the presentation of some 300 objects, the exhibition at L’Entrepôt offers an analysis helpful to understanding issues of today’s consumer society and aims to renew public interest in the collection.
The virtual exhibition is an extension of the showing at L’Entrepôt and serves as a catalogue. While the physical exhibition allows visitors to experience the actual objects and observe their volume and colour, in a building more than a century old, the virtual exhibition offers the advantage of seeing the collection in its entirety. Furthermore, it groups the objects so as to highlight the aspects related to advertising in the 20th century. And it provides rare, user-friendly access to an exceptional group of documents: 83 in‑house magazines published by National Breweries Ltd., the consortium within which Dawes Black Horse Brewery operated from 1909 to 1952.
Useful information for the exhibition at L’Entrepôt