Hazardous Conditions: Histories of the Urban Horse

Friday, 26 October 2018

Speaker: Joanna Dean

Lecture title: Hazardous Conditions: Histories of the Urban Horse

Lecture Summary

horse-and-buggy-drawing-11What was it really like to share city streets with animals that weighed half a ton and did not always do as they were told? The number of horses in Canadian cities skyrocketed in the late 1800s, when they pulled buggies, hauled carts and streetcars, and powered treadmills, lifts, and brick machines. In 1891, Ottawa had one horse for every 18 people. In this lecture, I will tell stories from the archives about the mishaps, cruelty and muck of a multispecies city. I will explain what horse manure had to do with the spread of tetanus, or lockjaw, and how an ungainly little horse called Brick Top helped Canadians overcome this dread disease during the First World War.

Bio: Joanna Dean

Joanna Dean
Joanna Dean

Joanna Dean was inspired as a child by Dr. Dolittle, and has never entirely given up trying to talk to the animals. She shares her farm in rural Quebec with Wyatt, a draft horse, Paddy, a paint, and a multitude of other animals. She teaches animal history and environmental history at Carleton University, and recently co-edited Animal Metropolis: Histories of Human-Animal Relations in Urban Canada (2017).