Some more retro technology – with a Christmas connection

Lantern slides originated in the 17th Century and were originally hand pained images which were placed into a primitive wooden projection box and viewed in succession in order to narrate a story. They were a very early form of cinema which by the mid-1800s, with the advent of photography, had evolved to the stage where real-life scenes could be reproduced on glass and displayed.

These could be hand-tinted for added realism and the resulting slide show would have been an immersive experience using what was then cutting-edge technology in an era when newspapers contained only text, and books were a luxury few could afford.

In Local Studies  we have a historic collection of photographs of the Holy Land dating from 1908 and these were shown in Clondalkin Carnegie Library on the occasion of its opening in 1911. The names of the locations are a roll-call of famous Biblical locations.


Lantern slide showing paper frame and handwritten caption


Taken in 1908, these images show the people and views of the Holy Land appearing virtually unchanged in 2,000 years. It is not too hard to imagine the Holy Family wandering these streets in search of accommodation.


View of Bethlehem



The site of the Angel’s appearance to the shepherds


Titled “A Jerusalem Jew”


An Arab shop


Other slides include views of locations associated with Easter including the Garden of Gethsemane and the Mount of Olives which we will return to at a later date.

One view in particular is particularly poignant – the very first photograph of the ancient Monumental Arch of Palmyra which was built in the 3rd Century and is seen here in its original form before it was restored in the 1930s. It was destroyed by Islamist Militants in October 2015.



Triumphal Arch, Palmyra.


Click HERE to see the entire collection.


O’Connell Street destroyed again. Illustrated London News.


On this day in 1922, the Illustrated London News published this account of the destruction of O’Connell Street for the second time – this time by Free State Forces, using artillery against Anti-Treaty “Irregulars” who had taken over buildings near the Gresham.


Accompanying the main view from Nelson’s Pillar, there are two more photos (enlarged below), one showing the remains of the Gresham:


The other is captioned as having been taken outside the General Post Office – although the premises bear no resemblance to any part of the GPO then or now:


Partly obscured by the soldier on the left, eagle-eyed readers will be surprised to see the name “An Post” being used 62 years before the name was adopted as the name for the successor to the Department of Posts and Telegraphs!

Of course in this case it simply means “Post” in the general sense.

Also visible on either side of the letterboxes is “S E” for”Saorstát Éireann”.

Click HERE to see our entire Civil War collection.

Page from the Illustrated London News reproduced with thanks to the Defence Forces Military Archive.

(Old) News just in! “Eire/Ireland” and “Scissors and Paste” Now on Source.



Two publications from 1914 and 1915 are now on Source and searchable. “Eire/Ireland” and “Scissors and Paste” were launched by Arthur Griffith, founder of Sinn Féin. The former was suppressed because of its anti-British tone, and was replaced by the aptly named “Scissors and Paste”. This circumvented Regulation 27 of the Defence of the Realm act, which forbade new propaganda writing, by simply reprinting articles from other sources. Its articles were aimed primarily at debunking stories of German atrocities and reporting German successes. At the same time it published derogatory articles referring to British military operations. In March 1915 “Scissors and Paste” was also suppressed.

The publications give a fascinating insight into some Irish attitudes to Britain and the conduct of the war, and also translated reports from Foreign language newspapers that are rarely seen.

Here are some random clippings representative of the content of both newspapers:

Whelan & Sons, trading from 17 Upper Ormond Quay, advertised an impressive array of military items for sale to the public in 1914 including rifles, ammunition, belts and even pikes.

“Ourselves” – this editorial piece from “Scissors and Paste” bemoans the suppression of its predecessor “Eire Ireland” under the Defence of the Realm act and questions the sincerity of Britain’s fight for the rights of small nations.

Scissors & Paste 23rd December 1914 – Report of the removal by the police of the famous Liberty Hall banner proclaiming “We serve neither King nor Kaiser but Ireland”


1st April 1915. Not an April Fool’s joke, but a prophetic article from Scissors & Paste, reproduced from the “Evening Herald” anticipating the Irish Rebellion a year before it happened.


1st June 1915. The Garda College in Templemore in Co. Tipperary had a previous incarnation as Richmond Barracks and was used from 1914 to 1915 as an internment camp for German military and civilian prisoners of war. This article, reprinted from the Belfast Newsletter, condemns certain “sympathisers” for funding prisoners’ comforts for those interned in Templemore.


12th December 1915 – Trouble in Templemore. Inmates won’t pay the extra penny tax on beer.


1st September 1915. Another example of the free availability of weapons at the time. The winner of a Cumann na mBan raffle is requested to proceed to Parnell Square to pick up her prize – a Lee Enfield .303 rifle!


20th January 1915 – the people of Wexford are advised that the German Army are not to be feared in the event of their arrival on our shores. Police advice to Wexford residents to destroy their property in case of invasion is to be ignored.


27th January 1915 – Report of a French soldier being informally “awarded” the Prussian Iron Cross by a grateful German…


Two local interest articles mentioning Rathfarnham:



13th of February 1915 – article explaining the background to “Deutschland Uber Alles”, the German National Anthem, and denying it is triumphalist.


Eire Ireland 28th November 1914 – Germany has no ill-will towards Ireland.



See the complete collection here:



Treasures from Source Digital Archive – Poppet: The Countess’s Best Friend


Constance Gore-Booth. Rebel daughter of an Ascendancy family, she turned her back on her privileged upbringing by marrying a Polish Count and was thereafter known as Countess Markievicz.

She helped in the Liberty Hall soup kitchen during the Lockout, and later founded Na Fianna – a group of Republican boy scouts that trained with firearms, drilled, practiced signalling and learned first-aid. She held the rank of Staff Lieutenant in the Citizen Army, and fought with distinction during the 1916 Rising. She was saved from the British Army firing squad because of the fear of a backlash if a woman were to be executed.

She was famously a dog-lover (her cocker spaniel’s name was “Poppet”), and evidently a law-abiding owner. 25 days before the 1916 Rising she renewed her dog licence:

To the rear of the licence are helpful hints on identifying “Madness in Dogs”:


Here she is in a studio portrait with Poppet and two unidentified men:

A bronze statue of Countess Markievicz stands outside the swimming pool in Townsend Street that bears her name. At her feet stands her faithful canine friend:



Thanks to the Defence Forces’ Military Archives ( ) for the dog licence.

Also thanks to Kilmainham Gaol Museum ( ) for the studio photograph
Browse our Revolutionary Collection here:


Treasures from Source Digital Archive



Next in our series of Treasures from Source,  another historic piece of ephemera  from our digital collection of items relating to Ireland’s Revolutionary Period 1913 to 1922.

At first glance it seems to be a British Government proclamation with the Royal Coat of Arms at the top, a headline of “Your King and Country Calls”, some text and the usual footer of names at the bottom. It bears a superficial resemblance to the warning notice posted in 1913 by the British government warning against a “seditious assembly” in Sackville Street (right)



Closer inspection reveals it to be an anti-Free State pamphlet published by the Anti-Treaty side of the Civil War, denouncing Michael Collins and the Pro-Treaty side as being no better than than the previous British administration.

The use of the British coat of arms, the referencing of British Army regiments in the body of the text and the mention of the “Empire” makes this a particularly scathing piece of propaganda,  and is typical of the bitterness that characterised many such pamphlets printed during the Civil War.



From the collection of the Capuchin Archives. Reproduced with thanks.

Sackville Street poster by kind permission of the Irish Labour History Society.

Browse our Revolutionary Collection here: