Trams, a social network of an urban life.

The first wave of trams (streetcar in the US) which went into service were horse drawn and began life as a means for industrial haulage, carting heavy products such as stone from quarries to cities for sale or exportation. This lead to a steady and natural evolution into modes of passenger transport. Thus creating a network of veins throughout the city, linking the suburban limbs to the beating heart of the city centre. The dawn of electricity and gas powered trams graced the network system causing these veins transformed into throbbing arteries of social interaction between the cities inhabitants.

Several_trams_extending_down_a_city_street_lined_with_buildings_sd(1)

These arteries of transport and travel can be seen throughout the rising metropolis’ of world dawning from an industrial age. Each city maintained its own unique style of tram ans some still do. London, Dublin and Cork had two tiered trams meandering their city streets, whilst in cities such as Los Angeles and Vienna they used a single tier. They quickly became social points of contact for citizens as passengers, they became mobile advertisement boards for businesses and places of work for drivers and engineers alike.

Tram from Sutton to Howth.

Getting into the festive spirit.

With motor cars only available to the exceptionally wealthy the tram/streetcar became ideal methods of transport for those unable to afford the expensive luxury of the car. In Dublin, family’s could commute to seaside towns such as Kingstown (Dún Laoghaire) and Howth for a ‘day out’. They could be out walking the promenade by day and back under the city centre smog by night. It was a liberating service, connecting the suburbs that would later intertwine with the modern metropolis.

A ghostly past.

A ghostly past.

 

References:

Image i: National Libray of Ireland. 1959. National Library of Ireland Catalogue. [ONLINE] Available at: http://catalogue.nli.ie/Record/vtls000303988. [Accessed 12 November 15].

Image ii: University of Southern California. 1957. USC Libraries. [ONLINE] Available at: http://digitallibrary.usc.edu/cdm/singleitem/collection/p15799coll65/id/21371/rec/1. [Accessed 12 November 15].

Image iii: Irish Photo Archive. 1956. Irish Photo Archive. [ONLINE] Available at: http://irishphotoarchive.photoshelter.com/gallery-image/1956-20-12-Howth-Tram-Special/G0000E1.9Jy4TWPc/I0000BLF552MHJ2Y. [Accessed 12 November 15].

Image iv: National Library of Ireland. 1920. National Library of Ireland Catalogue. [ONLINE] Available at: http://catalogue.nli.ie/Record/vtls000299146. [Accessed 12 November 15].

Blog 2: A clean city is a modern city: Dublin in the 19th Century (Shauna O Brien- 113545727)

Picture 1 Source: Census national archive (RSAI, DDC, no. 44)

Picture 1: Picture of 3 small children at Faithful place, off Lower Tyrone Street showing the  poor street conditions in Dublin in the 19th century.
Source: Census national archive (RSAI, DDC, no. 44)

Dublin in the 19th Century was largely over populated which meant poor living conditions and poverty was a part of everyday life. Dirt, disease and death were prevalent and the spread of diseases such as Cholera and  Tuberculosis, from filthy, inadequate hygiene and close living proximity was becoming a serious problem for the people of Dublin.

A Public Health committee was set up in Dublin in 1866. Sanitary Sub officers were given the job to inspect the people of Dublin’s personal hygiene and living conditions in their homes as it was becoming more and more important in combating and preventing the spread of disease

Picture 3. Sanitary sub officers of the corporation of Dublin 1909 Source: Dublin City Council (DD002)

Picture 2. Sanitary sub officers of the corporation of Dublin 1909
Source: Dublin City Council (DD002)

In May 1885, William Meagher, Lord Mayor of Dublin, opened the city’s first municipal baths on Tara Street. Hot and cold baths were offered to men and women so that they could keep themselves clean and disease free.

Picture 2. Men in the Dublin Corporation Baths and Wash Houses, Tara Street, 1912 Source: Dublin City Council (DD032 )

Picture 3. Men in the Dublin Corporation Baths and Wash Houses, Tara Street, 1912
Source: Dublin City Council (DD032 )

Public toilets were also introduced around this time. In 19th century Ireland not all homes had toilets and so the streets were a dumping ground for chamber pots. People had to walk or cycle around the city and therefore took longer to travel from one place to another. Many businesses such as Cafes and Shops did not offer their facilities to the public and so toilets were constructed to help maintain the streets sanitary conditions.

Picture 4. a urinal on the Ormond Quay, Dublin in 1969 Source: National library of Ireland

Picture 4. a urinal on the Ormond Quay, Dublin in 1969
Source: National library of Ireland

The advent of both the bath house and the public toilet played significant roles in improving the quality of the streets and  the experience of those who lived in Dublin during this time. Personal hygiene meant that people were now much healthier and more aware of how to behave in a clean and controlled city and modernity is an inevitable process which follows.

[Blog #2] Rowing in the City. Use of rowboats in C19th/C20th New York and London ( Peter Bowen, 113302456 )

London

Date: c. 1890s Photographer: Unknown Location: Thames, London Source: National Maritime Museum, London

Date: c. 1890s
Photographer: Unknown
Location: Thames, London
Source: National Maritime Museum, London

In this first image, we see three members of the Thames River Police at work upon the eponymous river, acting as both law enforcement and lifeguards upon the water. The boat in this setting, is a practical tool used to increase the efficiency of law enforcement in London as it faces new challenges with its growth in the 18th century. It is an innovative way of utilising the natural infrastructure of the city as it advances into modernity.


New York City

The following four images depict a different use of the row-boat in a modern city, that of leisure. Unlike the Thames, these bodies of water – the lakes of Central Park, NYC –  serve little practical purpose. Here we see an altogether different scene, that of the city’s denizens escaping the urban environment, isolated, finding privacy in the middle of one of the world’s busiest cities.

Date: 1931 Photographer: P. L. Sperr Location: Harlem Meer, Central Park, NYC Source: New York Public Library

Date: 1931
Photographer: P. L. Sperr
Location: Harlem Meer, Central Park, NYC
Source: New York Public Library


Date: 1923 Photographer: P. L. Sperr Location: The Lake, Central Park, NYC Source: New York Public Library

Date: 1923
Photographer: P. L. Sperr
Location: The Lake, Central Park, NYC
Source: New York Public Library

This is the image I personally feel evokes a clear contrast between the solitude of the rower and the city he is escaping, almost out of sight, but never exactly so. This is the creation of a personal, private space in a modern city, although temporary.


Date: May 7 1933 Photographer: P. L. Sperr Location: The Lake, Central Park, NYC Source: New York Public Library

Date: May 7 1933
Photographer: P. L. Sperr
Location: The Lake, Central Park, NYC
Source: New York Public Library

Again, in this image, the city skyline almost feels alien, there’s a spatial contrast, a facsimile of the natural within the unnatural, like a human zoo.


Date: c. 1930 Photographer: Unknown Location: The Pond, Central Park, NYC Source: New York Public Library

Date: c. 1930
Photographer: Unknown
Location: The Pond, Central Park, NYC
Source: New York Public Library

Lastly, the boats at anchor. I feel that this photograph, unlike the other three captures no sense of the personal space created by the boats or the park around them, instead it is poignant. In their inanimate form it is harder to imagine the experience of privacy. It informs the viewer that the escapism provided is fleeting, gone as soon as you step back into the city.


Source links:

Thames River Police: http://www.portcities.org.uk/london/server/show/conMediaFile.5198/Police-rowing-boat-off-the-entrance-to-London-Docks.html

Central Park Images: https://www.oldnyc.org/

Blog #2 The 19th century ‘New Woman’:the impact of women cycling in the public sphere (Stephanie Coles 113352066)

Figure.1 Title: Women cyclists stopped at the side of the road in County Wicklow Photographer: Joshua Hargrave Archive: National Library of Ireland Catalogue Date: August 1895 Size: 9 x 9cm

Figure.1
Title: Women cyclists stopped at the side of the road in County Wicklow
Photographer: Joshua Hargrave
Archive: National Library of Ireland Catalogue
Date: August 1895
Size: 9 x 9cm

The 19th century was a time of rigidly defined gender roles and emphasized separation between the public spaces of activity for men and women in the city. In this century women were finally making headway into creating their own spaces in a male dominated and patriarchal public sphere. The bicycle was a new experience that characterized the city in this period.

Figure.2 Title: Street scenes, Long Island City. Photographer: Byron Company Date: 1898 Archive: Museum of the City of New York Size: 8 x 10in

Figure.2
Title: Street scenes, Long Island City.
Photographer: Byron Company
Date: 1898
Archive: Museum of the City of New York
Size: 8 x 10in

“The emergence of a new stable and easy to ride ‘safety bicycle’ (see Figure.4) provided women with a chance for mobility, increased independence and freedom from the confine of her home”(Jones, 2012). The bicycle allowed for movement into new public spaces. The bicycle had a profound impact on the public sphere, by causing a change in the female fashion at the time (which challenged the traditional gender norms) and providing a new found freedom and liberation for women. The men of this period did not accept this change in the public sphere easily, and began to delineate themselves in terms of physical prowess, and trying to include cycling as a male dominated form of activity. Even so, the bicycle remained a symbol of freedom and self control. “The women of the 19th century who had been given little opportunity to cultivate or express her autonomy now had a vessel with which one could not only develop autonomous power, but do so while leaving behind the old reliance upon men for travel” (Hendrick, 2009).

 

Figure.3 Title: Portrait of a handsome young woman posing next to a bicycle in parlour of a home, Pasadena. Photographer: C.C. Pierce Archive: USC Libraries Special Collections Date: 1890 Microfiche number: 1-101

Figure.3
Title: Portrait of a handsome young woman posing next to a bicycle in parlour of a home, Pasadena.
Photographer: C.C. Pierce
Archive: USC Libraries Special Collections
Date: 1890
Microfiche number: 1-101

With the arrival of the bicycle in the public sphere came with it the term ‘the New Woman’ which was used to describe “the modern woman who broke with convention by working outside the home, or eschewed the traditional role of wife and mother”(Zheutlin, 2006). Bicycle manufacturers empowered this term by aligning their bicycles with images of feminine and graceful ladies in their new cycling fashion which ceased any arguments of sexual impropriety.The bicycle was a tool of women’s personal and political power, and stated by Frances Willard (1991) “the bicycle had done more to emancipate women than anything else in the world”.

 

Figure.4 Title: Lady's Bicycle (3 speed gear and dynamo lighting) Author: John Player & Sons Archive: George Arents Collection, The New York Public Library Digital Collections

Figure.4
Title: Lady’s Bicycle (3 speed gear and dynamo lighting)
Author: John Player & Sons
Archive: George Arents Collection, The New York Public Library Digital Collections

Figure.5 Title: Manhattan: Harlem River Drive- Dyckman Street Photographer: Ewing Galloway Date: 1897 Archive: The New York Public Library Digital Collections

Figure.5
Title: Manhattan: Harlem River Drive- Dyckman Street
Photographer: Ewing Galloway
Date: 1897
Archive: The New York Public Library Digital Collections

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A Deal Not to be Missed! Advertising in the Modernist City. (Blog #2, Conor Hornibrook 113454658)

For as long as people have been making and creating things, there has been someone angling to sell them. Advertising appears almost as natural to us as the process of production itself. The earliest recorded advertisements come from the criers of Babylon (c. 3000 BC) who would declare the virtues of their wares to the passing public (Mogel, 1993, p.4) .

 

Fig. 1 H. B. McCalla, Successor to the Late Andrew McCalla. Number 252 Market Street. First Hat and Cap Store below 8th Street, South Side, Philadelphia c.1852. chromolithograph ; 53 x 34 centimeters. The World Digital Library: http://www.wdl.org/en/item/9405/#q=advertisement&page=2 (Accessed 30th October 2015)

Fig. 1 H. B. McCalla, Successor to the Late Andrew McCalla. Number 252 Market Street. First Hat and Cap Store below 8th Street, South Side, Philadelphia c.1852. Chromolithograph ; 53 x 34 centimeters. The World Digital Library: http://www.wdl.org/en/item/9405/#q=advertisement&page=2 (Accessed 30th October 2015)

Here, the building itself is the advertisement, complete with slogans and gargantuan top hats so that passers-by would be drawn in by the colours and styles on offer. This photo dates to the mid 19th Century in Philadelphia and shows how the city itself became a canvas for constant and ever-present advertising. In the 19th/20th Centuries, North America and Europe benefited from explosive urban expansion. Cities as centralised commercial centres were well placed for advertising as a separate sub-industry to develop and it is interesting to note what impact this had socially.

Fig. 2 Exterior marble work, seen from the corner of Fifth Avenue and Forty-second Street, 1904. Still Image, The New York Public Library Digital Collections: http://digitalcollections.nypl.org/items/510d47dc-3780-a3d9-e040-e00a18064a99 (Accessed 30th October 2015)

Fig. 2 Exterior marble work, seen from the corner of Fifth Avenue and Forty-second Street, 1904. Still Image, The New York Public Library Digital Collections: http://digitalcollections.nypl.org/items/510d47dc-3780-a3d9-e040-e00a18064a99 (Accessed 30th October 2015)

This next image shows the variety of goods advertised and the styles used. At a busy intersection on the corner of Fifth Avenue and Forty-second Street in New York City, one is offered whiskey, paint, cosmetics and a cure for constipation, all against the backdrop of a burgeoning city. These non-essential goods are bombarded at citizens of the city, the new consumers and were not restricted to a set gender or class but rather target as much of the city’s demographic as is possible.

Fig. 3 Ladder-Men working in London, c.1877. 'Street Life in London', 1877, by John Thomson and Adolphe Smith. Available from London School of Economics Digital Library: http://digital.library.lse.ac.uk/objects/lse:vox326fum (Accessed 30th October 2015)

Fig. 3 Ladder-Men working in London, c.1877. ‘Street Life in London’, 1877, by John Thomson and Adolphe Smith. Available from London School of Economics Digital Library: http://digital.library.lse.ac.uk/objects/lse:vox326fum (Accessed 30th October 2015)

The ladder-men of London show the scale of advertisement utilised in a major city such as London. The average citizen’s eye-level view would have dramatically changed during this period as the city grew upwards and outwards with mortar and brick replaced by posters and billboards. The act of advertising itself became an art and an industry in its own right.

 

Fig. 4 Mr Wynne advertising his Photographic Studio, Castlebar, Co.Mayo, 1880, Wynne, Thomas J 1838-1893 photographer. Albumen print ; 10 x 12cm. National Library of Ireland: http://catalogue.nli.ie/Record/vtls000227327/Holdings#tabnav (Accessed 30th October 2015)

Fig. 4 Mr Wynne advertising his Photographic Studio, Castlebar, Co.Mayo, 1880, Wynne, Thomas J 1838-1893 photographer. Albumen print ; 10 x 12cm. National Library of Ireland: http://catalogue.nli.ie/Record/vtls000227327/Holdings#tabnav (Accessed 30th October 2015)

In an Irish context, and though Castlebar was not a city, it had an urban population who desired the same goods as their contemporaries in Dublin. The art of photography is intrinsically linked to the development of advertising and allowed business owners to promote themselves in new and innovative ways.

 

Fig. 5 Man and boy leading horse-drawn cart, advertising Ballyshannon show. ca.1890-1910. Clarke, J. J. (John J.), 1879-1961, photographer. Photographic Print ; 6 x 9 cm. Clarke Photographic Collection, National Library of Ireland: http://catalogue.nli.ie/Record/vtls000169080 (Accessed30th October 2015)

Fig. 5 Man and boy leading horse-drawn cart, advertising Ballyshannon show. c.1890-1910. Clarke, J. J. (John J.), 1879-1961, photographer. Photographic Print ; 6 x 9 cm. Clarke Photographic Collection, National Library of Ireland: http://catalogue.nli.ie/Record/vtls000169080 (Accessed 30th October 2015)

Finally, not all advertising was a subtle enterprise, as seen here with a well-dressed gentleman and accompanying apprentice waving a bell with ass and cart in tow. Advertising then was a prevalent part of life in 19th/20th Century cities, sometimes crude, often effective, it percolated throughout society and created a city of consumerism, with each citizen as a prospective consumer.

References:

  •  Mogel, L. 1993, Making it in Advertising: An Insider’s Guide to Career Opportunities, pg. 4