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Posts Tagged ‘1940s Dublin’

I came across this advertisement for Kodak in Ireland which dates from 1940. It mentions war time shortages and the fact that Kodak cameras were currently unavailable. The George Eastman House has an extensive collection of Kodak advertisements many of which, like the one above, depict fashionable young women. 

The ad also refers to Kodak House in Rathmines. This Art Deco building was designed by the architectural firm of Donnelly, Moore & Keatinge in 1930 and was used by the firm until 1982. William Sedgwick Keatinge was also responsible for later additions in 1949 and 1951. The building was recently renovated and the following atmospheric photograph demonstrates how well it has survived.

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This photograph shows a view of O’Connell Street from Nelson’s Pillar taken on Monday 7th September 1942. We are always hearing how bleak Ireland was during the 1940s and 50s but to be honest I wouldn’t mind a good look around the shops on this block. The Thom’s Street Directory for 1942 lists the businesses as the Saxone Shoe Company; Dunn & Co., hatters; Rowntree & Co. Ltd., cocoa, chocolate and confectionary manufacturers; Jameson & Co., jewellers; Bobby Morris, ladies’ hairdressers and Clifford’s and Maxwell’s, tailors. It also includes Jordan’s Billiard Saloon.  

The print is actually quite small but I don’t mind that the close-ups are slightly blurred as they still give a real sense of the street showing cyclists, delivery trucks, people chatting and going about their everyday lives. 

According to The Irish Times for the date you could go and see the following films at O’Connell Street cinemas: the Metropole was showing a farce called Charley’s American Aunt with Jack Benny, Kay Francis, James Ellison and Anne Baxter. The Savoy was showing Gone with the Wind and the Carlton featured Elsie Janis and Wendy Barrie in Women in War. Jim Keenan’s Dublin Cinemas: A Pictorial Selection (2005) and Marc Zimmerman’s History of Dublin Cinemas (2007) provide an excellent account of Dublin’s many cinemas.

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These glamorous portraits were taken by Ross Photographers of Dublin in the 1940s. The studio was set up in 1929 and is one of the few independent Irish businesses still operating on Grafton Street today. I really like their colourful yellow sign which brightens up the dull Dublin sky in the photo above. I also located advertisements for the studio in daily newspapers from the 1930s. Jason Bitner of Found magazine discovered an entire studio collection in LaPorte, Indiana and I am a fan of his book which was published by Princeton Architectural Press. A documentary film on the collection is also in production.  

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3DrinkingMen

From a collection found in a skip on Oxmantown Road, this photo reminds me of the memoir Remembering How We Stood by John Ryan. I love the pint of plain and the half pints not to mention the cigarette behind the central figure’s ear. Real Dublin characters.

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