The Bailey of the Alps?

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Where: Leinster, Fingal, Ireland

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When: Unknown

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At fist glance, this image of the Bailey Light at Howth looks as if it is surrounded by vast mountains and rocky slopes. Instead it appears that a very poor effort at old style photo shopping has taken place or that the plate – a fine Royal sized plate has deteriorated dramatically. What a pity, as the Bailey is seen in splendid detail here!

Photographer: Robert French

Collection: Lawrence Photograph Collection

Date: Circa 1865-1914

NLI Ref: L_ROY_00659

You can also view this image, and many thousands of others, on the NLI’s catalogue at catalogue.nli.ie

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Owner: National Library of Ireland on The Commons
Source: Flickr Commons
Views: 9097
robertfrench williamlawrence lawrencecollection lawrencephotographicstudio glassnegative nationallibraryofireland thebaileylighthouse howth codublin fingal dublinbay dublin leinster ireland lighthouse irishlights commissionersofirishlights bailey shippingforecast icebergs baily lawrencephotographcollection

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  • profile

    cargeofg

    • 30/Oct/2020 08:52:21

    Gasometers in the foreground with pipe along the top of the wall to or from boiler house. External iron strapping to chimney stack. In a companion plate ROY_0661 there is a side wheel paddle steamer (service boat? )visible. Landing marked to north side of Light on the OSI 25" Other pipes running along top of wall towards light and a larger on (See note)

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    Niall McAuley

    • 30/Oct/2020 09:01:42

    Before the OSI 25" survey which shows a larger gasometer nearer the camera.

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    cargeofg

    • 30/Oct/2020 09:21:44

    Gas works built 1865 for gas fired lamp patented by John Richardson Wigham.

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    cargeofg

    • 30/Oct/2020 09:45:37

    https://www.flickr.com/photos/beachcomberaustralia Still after 1865 as there are pully wheels visible for gasometer. But different to ROY_0659 as there is a lattice beam in Sweeneys photo. So maybe the first gasometer built.

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    BeachcomberAustralia

    • 30/Oct/2020 09:51:13

    Lots of relevant dating details here - www.irishlights.ie/tourism/our-lighthouses/baily.aspx ['Vera' is on the telly, and I am engrossed!]

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    John Spooner

    • 30/Oct/2020 10:19:25

    https://www.flickr.com/photos/beachcomberaustralia That website mentions the fog bell installed in early 1853 after the Queen Victoria had been wrecked in bad weather which made the light invisible. In a notice in Freeman's Journal on Saturday 03 September 1853 about his exhibits at the Great Industrial Exhibition , James Sheridan, whose Eagle Foundry had cast the bell, claimed/stated that the Bailey Light fog bell and the 'Splendid Fog Bell' at the eastern pier of Kingstown Harbour were 'the Largest Bells now in Ireland'.

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    BeachcomberAustralia

    • 30/Oct/2020 11:19:05

    The bell was "removed in 1890" - I cannot see it anywhere (but I am not sure where to look!). Mr Eason was there a little later but he desperately needs flipping - catalogue.nli.ie/Record/vtls000047537 (see how the chimney being worked on here/above is complete). And the Dillons steamed past, showing the fog-horns in front and the 1892 "two semi-detached dwellings for Assistant Keepers" on the hill behind - catalogue.nli.ie/Record/vtls000524203 catalogue.nli.ie/Record/vtls000524201 (Ed. fixed)

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    BeachcomberAustralia

    • 30/Oct/2020 11:26:00

    Of interest - the Bailey Light was a pioneer in the use of oil gas for illumination. An 1871 article via Trove - trove.nla.gov.au/newspaper/article/13246903?searchTerm=%2...

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    BeachcomberAustralia

    • 30/Oct/2020 11:33:39

    Hmm! Is that THE BELL right up top under the weathervane? Not apparent on www.flickr.com/photos/tartalom/'s photo or Eason's. ie this photo is before 1890 ...

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    John Spooner

    • 30/Oct/2020 11:57:25

    https://www.flickr.com/photos/beachcomberaustralia Looks too small to me. A similar bell cast by James Sheridan in 1874, to be used on the Cork coast, was 6 ft high and weighed 6 tons. Its "deep, sonorous, and powerful" tone was calculated to be audible at a distance of 15 to 20 miles. (Freeman's Journal 14th May 1874)

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    oaktree_brian_1976

    • 30/Oct/2020 12:57:03

    symmetry is perfect, almost looks like a painting

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    suckindeesel

    • 30/Oct/2020 13:31:09

    According to the Irish Lights site mentioned earlier: "The cut granite tower was painted white and remained so until 1910 when, on the recommendation of the Engineer to the Commissioners of Irish Lights, it was changed to its natural granite colour" It doesn't look white in our photo, compare with the C. Sweeney photo above where it looks distinctly white. The gasometers are different from the 25" of 1907, their positions being reversed. They changed over from gas to paraffin in 1908, would the gasometers have remained in situ after this time? The gasometers indicate pre 1908, while the granite finish indicates post 1910, confused.

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    suckindeesel

    • 30/Oct/2020 16:15:06

    Is there something odd about the appearance of the lamp optics in our photo? It looks like plain opaque panels.

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    National Library of Ireland on The Commons

    • 30/Oct/2020 16:50:23

    Wishing you all a very Happy Hallowe'en! As you probably won't be out cavorting because of The Covid, you might have time for some extra curricular investigations over on the Church of Ireland photostream. They have some unidentified lantern slides that may be of interest. And thank you to [https://www.flickr.com/photos/fraserpettigrew/] for letting us know about this. However, this is just optional homework for the weekend. See you all back here, bright and early on Monday...

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    O Mac

    • 30/Oct/2020 20:54:08

    The fog bell house is just visible behind tower so assume taken before 1890 when bell was removed.

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    suckindeesel

    • 31/Oct/2020 00:46:37

    [https://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]] There's a strange device on top, just below the weathervane, clearer in catalogue.nli.ie/Record/vtls000041338 , some sort of foghorn?

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    BeachcomberAustralia

    • 31/Oct/2020 08:32:30

    [https://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]]'s fog bell house (square, hipped roof, open on three sides) is seen better in this other Lawrence photo, which must be the same visit 'cos of that chimney being built (see note) - catalogue.nli.ie/Record/vtls000041338 The fog bell house is not evident in [https://www.flickr.com/photos/tartalom/]'s, Eason's, or the Dillon's photos. So they should all be after 1890 . . .

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    BeachcomberAustralia

    • 31/Oct/2020 08:34:20

    Aside - I keep thinking they are icebergs!

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    BeachcomberAustralia

    • 31/Oct/2020 09:44:31

    [Another aside] - Via Trove, a gripping contemporary account of the wreck of the Queen Victoria in 1853, including - "Years ago, Mr. O'Connell was nearly lost in a steamer at Howth, and a request was then made that a fog-bell should be attached to the Baily Lighthouse . . . " And this 'Horrifying Spectacle' at the end of the article - " ... the plate in the cabin has been saved by a diver; but the man protests that nothing in the world should induce him to go down a second time, as the scene in the cabin was the most horrible he had ever witnessed. He thought he had entered a wax-work exhibition, the corpses never having moved from their positions since the vessel went down. There were some eighteen or twenty persons in the cabin, one and all of whom seemed to be holding conversation with each other; and the general appearance of the whole scene was so lifelike that he was almost inclined to believe that some were yet living." See - trove.nla.gov.au/newspaper/article/226522583 en.wikipedia.org/wiki/PS_Queen_Victoria_(1838)

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    O Mac

    • 31/Oct/2020 11:02:43

    When my brother was a young apprentice engineer with the Commissioners of Irish Lights he was sent to stores to get a "bag of fog" to test a fog horn. Cruel.. I think the "icebergs" are unfinished sky scraping/cleaning on the plate. A scratched horizon line is visible and the area around the lighthouse has been neatly done.

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    cargeofg

    • 31/Oct/2020 12:58:04

    https://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected] "Bags of fog" are on the same shelf as the "striped paint " "long stands" and "left hand thread torque wrench's"

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    National Library of Ireland on The Commons

    • 31/Oct/2020 13:45:48

    https://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected] https://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected] Let's not forget the glass hammer!

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    suckindeesel

    • 31/Oct/2020 14:17:57

    https://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected] And then there was the "bubble for a sprit level" and "the sky hook" (for supporting things in the air), the bane of all green apprentices.

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    O Mac

    • 31/Oct/2020 15:39:55

    The "skirting board ladder" was another

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    cargeofg

    • 01/Nov/2020 10:30:01

    https://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected] A spirit level the one tool you do not need while working on a boat.