Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Posts Tagged ‘1920s Ireland’

Woman-CentralStudios500

I bought this photograph because I love images of girls wearing glasses. Her cloche hat, tapestry/brocade coat and corsage epitomise 1920s cool. The photograph was taken in The Central Studio, 13 North Earl Street, Dublin. Little did I know, that the women who ran the studio were just as fascinating as the image.

Harriette E. Lavery is listed in the Thom’s directory as the studio’s occupant from 1918 until 1946. I located her family on the 1901 census where she was living in Belfast with her father, a photographer, thus demonstrating a link to the trade. However, my explorations became more interesting when I found a link to a site showing Harriette’s memorial card stating that she died in 1923 from anthrax poisoning! It appears that the forty-six year old widow contracted her illness during her imprisonment for Civil War Republican activities. Harriette was jailed alongside her daughter, Maynie (1901-1976), in Kilmainham Gaol and the North Dublin Union. Maynie was an active member of Cumann na mBan and her future husband, Ned Reid was imprisoned in Marlborough Prison during the same period. (For further details see Sinéad McCoole’s No Ordinary Women: Irish Female Activists in the Revolutionary Years 1900-1923, Dublin: The O’Brien Press, 2003)

Maynie continued the business after her mother’s death but no change was made to the Thom’s listing. Over the twenty-seven years’ that the photographic studio was based at this address its neighbours included Keenan’s café, the Russell hairdressing saloon and the Maypole Dairy. At one stage, the Lavery family also ran a café at No.13 which they called ‘Dalriada.’ This was also the name of a hotel owned by Harriette’s maternal family at the seaside village of Howth, County Dublin.

Read Full Post »

I bought this photograph (and many others) from a seller in Spitalfields Markets, London. A colleague reckons that it might be one of the Irish sea trading schooners which worked out of Arklow, County Wicklow. To me the image, which was taken on Easter Sunday 1925, seems to evoke a much earlier era. I came across a couple of blog posts which outline a bizarre incident in which a tramcar crashed into a very similar schooner in Ringsend! The last remaining wooden topsail schooner, The Kathleen and May, is currently for sale and the owner’s website contains some great information. 

 

Read Full Post »

The subject matter of this photograph shows the playfulness of snapshot photography. The incidental details such as the wallpaper, worn chair and the doorway add to the overall ambience and the white flannel trousers are very typical of the 1920s.

The photograph was processed by Elite Portrait Studios, Rathmines, which was run by Max Stein for several years in the 1920s. In addition to photographic processing (using The Elite Process) he also offered camera rental! I like the simple stamp on the back of the photo – it contrasts with the ornate logos used by earlier studios.

The photographic trade was thought by many to be an easy way to make money but business didn’t go well for Max. A 1928 court report in The Irish Times shows that he owed £232 to Amalgamated Photographic Manufacturers (London) for photographic supplies obtained on credit. The business was registered in his Russian-born father’s name as Max was under twenty-one when he started the studio. His father Solomon, according to the article, was a rabbit skin-dealer at Britain Street, off Parnell Street.

Read Full Post »

This jumping man comes from an album I recently received from a military historian friend. It belonged to the well-to-do Foley family from North County Dublin and dates from between 1900 and 1920. It is full of great snapshots like this one which is part of a series taken at some sort of camp along the coast of Dublin. The ability to freeze action was called ‘instant photography’ and it became a staple of amateur practice in the early decades of the 20th Century. It reminds me of the iconic Lartigue photograph of his cousin ‘flying’.  This is featured in the BBC’s documentary series The Genius of Photography.

Read Full Post »