Exactly 100 Years Ago Today in Ireland

October 3, 2007 at 12:01 am 2 comments

The Irish Times has recently launched a fascinating digital archive. For €10 a day, or €395 a year, you can access every edition from 1859 to today. You can search it by keyword, and get a scan of the page as it looked on the day it was printed. As a test-run, here are my ten most entertaining snippets from October 3, 1907, exactly one hundred years ago today: >>>

News Stories

  • There was a report from London of an article in the National Review about the demise of the Irish Party that included a ‘vitriolic attack on Mr. Redmond’. The article concluded ‘What Ireland wants is a good long rest from politics. The very best thing possible would be to have half a dozen of the leading agitators nailed up in a barrel and dropped gently into the Irish Sea.’
  • America’s richest heiress, Miss Gladys Vanderbilt, had become engaged to an unnamed Austrian nobleman. She had been left £1.5 million sterling by her father, and another £2 million sterling by her mother. As a bonus the article added that, ‘in appearance she is said to be fair, with a girlish figure and good bearing’. Miss Vanderbilt refused to let a servant clean her bric-a-brac, in case the servant was clumsy, and instead employed a ‘young lady with university education’ to do her dusting for a salary of £200 a year.
  • A theatre company run by a Mr. Tree had put on a matinee show in Belfast, then travelled to Dublin by mail carriage, eating dinner on the way, where they put on two plays in the evening in the Royal.

In the Courts

  • Justice Swifte proved up to his name as a woman was given six weeks in prison for assaulting her son-in-law two days earlier. She and her daughter had met the man in the street, whereupon they both abused him, then the defendant ‘drew a brick from beneath her shawl and struck him on the head with it, inflicting a wound that he had to get dressed in the Meath hospital’.
  • In Belfast a husband and wife were convicted of assaulting a Mr Thomas Doran, a male nurse, in Sandy Row. After they were arrested, and while they were prisoners in in the police barracks, the husband again attacked Mr. Doran and the wife ‘took up a sword and threw it at him. The sword would have injured Mr. Doran severely if he had not been smart in getting out of the road’.


  • In a brilliant name-recognition ruse, Bovril was offering £500 in prizes in a UK-wide competition whereby you had to choose whether you pronounce the word ‘Bo-Vril’ or ‘Bov-Ril’, then guess which name would win the popular vote and by what majority.
  • You could buy a Ford car for £165, or a Rover cycle for £6 and 6 shillings. TJ Callaghan and Company on Dame Street would make you an elegant costume for three and a half guineas. You could eat at Hotel Cecil, 21 and 22 Harcourt Street, which was ‘the only French restaurant in Dublin’.
  • The National Telephone Company Ltd was advertising ‘service at your private residence from £4 a year’ which would ‘save you hours every day’. The Postal Union was announcing a new scheme whereby you could enclose with a letter a reply-paid coupon-stamp that cost 2 ½ old pence.
  • Ads for toiletries were using endorsements from actresses and ladies, including the following: ‘Lady C Howard, speaking of its agreeable hygienic and emmolient qualities and delicate perfume, says: I like the Albion Milk and Sulpher Soap very much. It is pleasant to use and whitens and softens the skin’.
  • If you could not afford any of these enticing products, there were various lenders who would make between £5 and £1,000 available to noblemen, ladies and gentlemen. Or, if you went to a bank, you could get up to £5,000.

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Entry filed under: Culture, Ireland.

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A blog by Michael Nugent

Welcome to my blog about living in the maddest country on earth. Please feel free to leave a comment.

I also write Bionic Bohs, a blog about following Bohemians football club in the 1970s.


October 2007
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Bionic Bohs

As mentioned above, if you like Irish football and/or cultural nostalgia, I also write Bionic Bohs, a blog about following Bohs in the 1970s.

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