Photochrom postcards capture Ireland in vibrant colors, 1890s

These vivid color photographs of Ireland were produced as tourist souvenirs and postcards using a technique called photochrome. The collection includes the main tourist attractions of the day as well as the main cities of Dublin, Belfast, Cork and Waterford.

Photochrome technology is a complex method of capturing black and white photographs with realistic color. It was relatively less expensive than true color photography and provided a unique and instantly recognizable style. The process was invented in the 1880s and was most popular in the 1890s.

What's interesting is how little has changed after all these years; Photos of the cities are instantly recognizable and popular tourist destinations from the 1890s like The Cliffs of Moher, The Giant's Causeway, and more, are still popular today.

Between 1851 and 1911 the urban proportion of Ireland's steadily declining population doubled. Nevertheless, on the eve of World War I, only a third of the people lived in cities with more than two thousand inhabitants.

Farming still accounted for most of the captured men, although the proportion fell from two-thirds in 1951 to 55 percent in 1911. Overall, the Irish economy had retained its rural character to a remarkable degree.

This discrepancy was a byproduct of mass emigration, which enabled up to half of each generation to urbanize abroad rather than at home.

During the second half of the nineteenth century the rural class structure lost most of its top as well as its bottom layer. The tenancy movement, legislation and economic failures achieved what the Great Famine had failed to achieve, the weakness of the landlord class.

Although retaining their home farms and leasehold, most landlords began selling rented farms to occupants before 1914.

In most of Ireland, the potato, far from being infamous, remained a staple of the diet, along with buttermilk and "kitchen" in the form of salted herring. Meat was rarely eaten except during festivals.

The enduring preference for potatoes reflects a reasonable belief in their nutritional value as well as taste and prevailed despite the fact that uncooked potatoes were now much more expensive to grow or buy.

Imported foods and home-produced meat were widely spread by the end of the nineteenth century, yet the rural diet remained surprisingly simple and healthy.

No comments:

Powered by Blogger.