Collection MSG 1352 - A. T. Lane Collection

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A. T. Lane Collection

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MSG 1352

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Physical description

1 satchel : leather
cm of textual records

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Name of creator


Biographical history

Albert Thomas Lane was born in 1849 in Hertfordshire, England.

He immigrated to Montreal, Quebec, in 1871 and found employment with the Montreal Warehousing Company, where he stayed until his death. He also worked for an importer of sporting equipment and began bringing bicycles and tricycles from England to Canada for resale. In 1874, He brought the first high-wheel bicycle to Montreal. He was one of the three original founders of the first bicycle club in Canada, the Montreal Bicycle Club (MBC), founded in 1878. In 1894, he became President of the Canadian Wheelmen’s Association (CWA). Montreal won the bid to host the CWA annual meet, and to promote the event, Lane organized a Sarnia to Montreal relay ride. He had a shop on Ste. Catherine Street, near the Northeast corner of Peel, where he sold bicycles and bicycle parts in Montreal. He was a lifetime member of MBC and the Montreal Amateur Athletic Association (MAAA).

In 1875, he married Maria Alicia Smyth (1853–1942). He died on January 12, 1916, in Outremont, Montreal, Quebec.

Custodial history

Scope and content

The collection contains materials related to a bicycle relay ride between Sarnia, Ontario, and Montreal, Quebec, held June 15-16, 1894 by the Canadian Wheelmen's Association (CWA) under its president, A. T. Lane, an early importer of bicycles to Canada who is credited by many contemporary sources as the first person to ride a high wheel bicycle in North America. The relay ride was organised as a promotional event for the CWA's annual meet, hosted in Montreal that year. The collection contains a newspaper article from the Toronto Mail (June 16, 1894) detailing the route and listing the participants, as well as a leather travel satchel used to carry a congratulatory letter to the president of the Canadian Wheelman's Association to be signed by the mayors of the cities and towns along the route. The satchel is embossed with the text: "Sarnia to Montreal relay ride, 1894." The collection also contains a published programme from the CWA annual meet, entitled, "Our city and our sports : souvenir and official programme of the 12th annual meet of the Canadian Wheelmen's Association, Montreal, July 1894."

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Gift of Donald Houston, November 2023.

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  • English

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Finding aids

Description of "Our city and our sports : souvenir and official programme of the 12th annual meet of the Canadian Wheelmen's Association" can also be found in the McGill library catalogue.

Associated materials

Portrait of A. T. Lane posing with a high wheel bike by photographers William Notman & Son (1885) can be found at the McCord Museum:

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Accompanying material

Accompanied by a photocopy of A. T. Lane's obituary, from the Official bulletin and scrap book of the League of Wheelman (vol. 14, no. i, January, 1916).

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