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Project Description




1900 - 1910


The population of the island of Ireland is 4,459,000. This figure has continued to decline since the Great Famine when there were 8 million people living in Ireland.Queen Victoria, Queen of Great Britain and Ireland, dies in January 1901. She had been queen for 64 years and during her reign, the British Empire grew to include India and large parts of Africa. Ireland is still part of the British Empire and the Union Jack flag flies from many public buildings. All post boxes are painted red and many Irish men join the British army.1906 - An earthquake rocks San Francisco on the west coast of America. It measures 8.3 on the Richter scale and is regarded as a very strong earthquake. Most of the city is destroyed and fires burn for 3 days.In Ireland there is renewed interest in Irish cultural activities. Many people attend Irish language and dance classes.

Sackville Street (O' Connell Street) 1900

Talking Points

What are the different forms of transport in the photograph?
How are the trams powered? (Hint - Look at the overhead lines!)
There is an advertisement on the side of the tram - what is it for?
What monuments can still be found on O Connell Street today?
Look at the large building with the dome roof on the right hand side of O Connell Street.
Check to see if this building is present in later photographs of the street.


Home Life

Most people live in the countryside and rely on farming to earn a living. Memories of the Great Famine (1844-47) are still fresh in many peoples' minds. Each year large numbers of people emigrate to America where they feel they will have a better life.Houses have few of the things we take for granted today. There is no central heating, no television or radio - in fact most houses don't even have running water! The houses of poorer people usually have a roof made of thatch. Although these houses are comfortable, the thatch roof needs to be replaced every few years. Richer people live in better houses and often have servants to do the house work.On farms, horses are used for ploughing and carrying materials. Horses are also common in towns and cities and help to transport people and goods from place to place. Trams operate in cities such as Dublin, Belfast and Cork. Bicycles are becoming more popular and many people are shocked to see women cycling. Cars are still very expensive and attract large crowds of onlookers wherever they go.1907 - It is now possible to send telegraphs between Ireland and America. However, this is expensive and usually used only in cases of emergency.1909 - The old age pension is now paid to people who have reached 70 years of age.


Achievements and Discoveries

1901 - Marconi makes the first transatlantic airwave transmission of a message in Morse code. From now on, many ships use Morse code to send messages.1903 - Two brothers, Orville and Wilbur Wright, create history by making the first powered flight in North Carolina in the United States. The first aeroplane flew for 12 seconds and covered a distance of just 37 metres.1907 - In America, the Hoover Suction-Sweeping Company launches the first effective portable vacuum cleaner for household use.1909 - The American, Robert Peary treks overland and claims to be the first person to reach the North Pole. Years later, an examination of Peary's expedition diary shows that he may have made a mistake and reached a point 50-100 Km short of the North Pole!There is growing interest in exploration with renewed efforts to reach the South Pole.



The Gaelic Athletic Association (GAA), founded in 1884, continues to grow in popularity. In 1905, three games were required to decide the All-Ireland final played between Kerry and Kildare. The games are played at Jones Road (later Croke Park) and the final game attracts a record 20,000 spectators.The Olympic Games are revived and the first games are held in Athens in 1896. In the 1908 Olympic Games (held in London) , Italian Dovando Pietri is disqualified from first position in the marathon after receiving help from officials when he collapses in the final lap.FIFA (Federation Internationale de Football Association) is founded in France.1903 -The Tour de France cycling race is staged for the first time. The 2,428 km race attracts 60 entrants, 21 of whom finish the race.


Fashion and Entertainment

Few clothes are bought readymade in shops. Most clothes are made by a tailor, a seamstress or by someone at home. Shoes are made by a shoemaker. Clothes and shoes are mended and repaired and usually last for a long time.1901 - Emile Berliner invents the Gramophone. The human voice and musical instruments can now be reproduced. The records are made of shellac and can break easily. Before a record can be played, a hand crank is used to power the Gramophone. Only the wealthier people could afford a Gramophone.



For more information on ...

Wilbur and Orville Wright

1906 San Francisco Earthquake


Edwardian Fashion