THE plan of this work is unique and the conception original. There are biographies
in abundance, but this appears to be the only Album on a national scale in this or any other country. Its title, THEI CANADIAN ALBUM : MEN OF CANADA, is suggestive of its plan and scope, but it might well have been called " The Canadian Biographical Album," for this it really is. The usefulness and desirability of such a work can be readily seen.. By that large class of persons spoken of as " the public," it should be highly appreciated. On every hand it is felt that the sources of information concerning THE MEN OF CANADA' are very limited. Those who are rightly classed among the leaders of thought and action in the towns, cities, townships, and counties of Canada, as well as in the provinces, and in the Dominion itself, are not so well known as is desirable or necessary. How often one's mind seeks information concerning an individual who has suddenly become conspicuous in church or state? Who is he? Where did he come from ? How old is he? What are his antecedents? His age? His business or professional education ? His past attainments and present standing? And, finally, his personal appearance?
This work proposes to answer these questions briefly, but accurately, in sober prose, and in cold type, like any other condensed biography. But it does not end here by any means. It brings to its aid the poetry of the artist, with the skill of the engraver, thus transferring the very image of the man to the printed page, so that he may, as it were, speak for himself and answer all our queries.
The next best thing to seeing and conversing with a man is to see his portrait, especially if a pen picture accompanies it as in the present plan.
The benefit conferred upon the country by the publication of this work will be the more readily seen when the plans of the publishers are considered. If carried out in their entirety, the enterprise will not only be gigantic in its proportions, but a benefit to the people that can scarcely be overestimated. Taking the population of Canada roughly at five millions, and supposing that about one man to a thousand of the population is a representative man, there are five thousand men who ought to find a place in THE CANADIAN ALBUM. This would involve the publication of seven volumes with a little over seven hundred men in each. To this task the publishers have set themselves, and from their past record, they will doubtless succeed. Thus THE MEN of CANADA, from the Atlantic to the Pacific, will live in our homes, telling the story of their lives, exerting the influence of those qualities of head and heart which have distinguished them, giving inspiration and entertainment to the young, and affording companionship for those of riper years, giving lessons in experience and a knowledge of human nature which cannot be found with similar fulness in any other volume. Nor does the value of this work end in sentiment only, important as that is. It has a business and a professional value. It will be equally in place in the libraries of the learned professions as on the' business man's desk. How important to have a knowledge of the men with whom we do business? Mercantile reports are good so far as they go, but they give a man's financial " rating " only, and private reports are often necessary to find out who and what the man is. There