Posts Tagged ‘Cork’

When I first saw these 1931 photographs, I was immediately reminded of Arthur Penn’s film Bonnie and Clyde which tells the story of the infamous armed robbers Bonnie Parker and Clyde Barrow. Snapshots found by police at the couple’s abandoned hideout in 1934 helped to spread their notoriety and are referenced within the film.There aren’t any guns visible in these images of a day trip to the seaside town of Ballycotton, County Cork, however, the 1930s styles are very similar to those worn by Bonnie and Clyde!

I particularly like the lady’s beret, tweed coat, sheer tights and clutch bag. Her companion wears his suit and Fedora hat with great swagger and charm. These hats were often worn tipped down over one eye at a rakish angle and were favored by American gangsters. Suits with double-breasted jackets and wide trouser legs were very fashionable in the early 1930s.

The Irish snapshots were taken on the 12th of July 1931 and were safely put into a Kodak wallet complete with negatives. The Kodak girl is, as ever, sporting the latest styles and her bobbed hair and white collar are not disimilar to the Ballycotton woman’s.

The promotional wallet mentions an amateur photographic competition with prizes awarded to photographs taken between the 1st of May and the 31st of August 1931.  I have featured Kodak advertising in an earlier post and look forward to seeing a recent book on Kodak ephemera based on the Martha Cooper collection.

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The little girl on the pedestal was named Elizabeth Angelina Anna Stopford and she was born in Dublin in 1868. Her family subsequently moved to Cork where she was photographed with her crinoline-wearing mother, Lucy Rebecca Stopford (née Binney). Thanks to the online availability of Dublin church records, I was able to track down her baptism details.

The Stopfords were a military family and they resided at Eglantine, Mallow. The inscription on the back of the carte-de-visite shows that the photograph was taken in July 1869 and sent ‘to dear Willie with Lucy’s love.’

Unfortunately, Elizabeth died at the age of 22 in 1890. Other than these scant facts I know little about her life. A pretty extensive trawl through the national newspapers has revealed no death notice nor memorial. This was often the case with unmarried daughters or aunts especially if they had no property to bequeath. Perhaps, her passing was marked in the local newspapers?

The studio of Stevens is little known and doesn’t appear in Eddie Chandler’s Photography in Ireland : the Nineteenth Century. I love the mention of access through Francis Guy’s Stationery Hall. From a  perusal of the city’s street directories it looks like George F. Stevens’ business as a short-lived one, appearing in only one of the volumes made available through Cork City Library’s website: Slater’s National Commercial Directory of Ireland for 1870.

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When I bought this cabinet card a few weeks ago I was happy to believe the online seller’s description which stated that the image originated from Queenstown (now Cobh), County Cork. I imagined this dapper pair stepping off an ocean liner to have their photograph taken whilst en route to an adventure in some exotic location.

I set about researching the studio using the trade and street directories for Cork city and county which are available through the public library service’s website but could find no trace of a Healey studio in Queenstown. Upon closer inspection I came to the realisation that there is actually nothing on the card (front or back) to indicate that it was taken in Cork!

Further research revealed that a photographer of this name worked in Sussex, England, for a period in the 1880s before heading off to South Africa in 1892. Perhaps Queenstown, South Africa is where this photograph was taken?

I suppose the moral of the story is that online sellers may not always undertake thorough searches but I was more than willing to believe it was an Irish picture. I didn’t pay very much for the photograph and it is still an excellent image which poses many questions. Why were they dressed alike? Who were they? Look at those great moustaches!

A website on the subject of Sussex postcards does mention that Healey moved around a lot and that there is no known address for him between 1911 and 1919 so he might have been in Cork after all!

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These colour slides were taken by an unknown English tourist in the summer of 1967. I think this photographer had a great eye and the sixty or so slides which I bought online include some real gems. The first photograph shows Oliver Plunkett Street, Cork and I particularly like the shop signs and the reflections in the car mirror. The others show a very blue Dingle Harbour and sea urchin shells collected at Derrynane, County Kerry. The latter is a really strong image  and the repeat pattern created by the shells is particularly appealing. 

The vivd Kodachrome colour works equally well on both the streetscape and natural landscape. This process was launched in 1939 and only ceased production last year. Farewell Kodachrome is a site dedicated to the process and it contains some great images and essays. A book and exhibition by Guy Stricherz called Americans in Kodachrome, 1945-1965 contains ninety images taken, like these three, by anonymous amateur photographers.

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