The Ireland of the 1890s may have been one of greater poverty than modern-day Ireland, but the views and beauty still came for free for anybody who walked the country’s shores. These incredible postcard photos, taken between 1890 and 1900, offer a magical look back at the Ireland of over 120 years ago.
The pictures come to use courtesy of the Library of Congress. They enable us to get a view of some of the top tourist spots in late 19th century Ireland, many of which are still popular destinations for tourists today. Although not all counties are covered, the images do come for all over the country and even give us an insight into the fashion and architecture of the day.
Taking in sites from the Giant’s Causeway to Ross Castle in Co. Kerry, the images were created using a secret method developed in the 1880s by an employee of a Swiss printing company. The complicated method was one of the first used to create color photography which was in the early stages of development.
It was a delicate and time-consuming process. First, a tablet of lithographic limestone would be coated in a light-sensitive emulsion and exposed to sunlight under a photo negative. The emulsion hardened over several hours in proportion to the tones in the negative and the image would be left on the stone.
Here is a look at some of the best. Let us know which are your favorites in the comments section, below:
Bridge in Glengarriff
Royal Avenue, Belfast
Eccles Hotel, Glengarriff
Patrick Street in Cork City
Cottage near Glengarriff
Queenstown (now Cobh)
The main Bank of Ireland building in Dublin City
St. Patrick’s Cathedral
Lower Lough Erne
Devenish Island in Lough Erne
Killary Bay in Connemara
Ross Castle, Killarney
Dungarvan bridge and harbor
The Quays, Waterford
Vale of Avoca
Have you visited any of the places photographed here? Let us know about your experience in the comments section.