Dining Saloon on the S.S. Great Eastern

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Where: Dublin, Ireland

Try to find the spot where the photographer was standing.

When: 01 January 1887

Try to find the date or year when this image was made.
Thought that after our couple of "shippy" days, it'd be interesting to see what was available to passengers below decks on snazzy (technical term) vessels like the Brunel-designed S.S. Great Eastern, berthed in this photo at the North Wall in Dublin.

Thanks to all for great research on this one, and to nintytwo for helping us uncover that this was taken at the North Wall in Dublin, and that our catalogue was incorrect in saying this had been taken at Arklow, Co. Wicklow.

Date: Between 15 October 1886 and 3 April 1887

NLI Ref.: L_ROY_00429

Info:

Owner: National Library of Ireland on The Commons
Source: Flickr Commons
Views: 56479
ssgreateastern greateastern isambardkingdombrunel moulding mirrors chandelier pampasgrass palms plants couches cutlery salt pepper jug decanter tablecloth glasses print meat bread plates pillars painting curtains ship diningroom ireland leinster robertfrench williamlawrence lawrencecollection glassnegative brunel steamship easternsteamnavigationcompany jscottrussellco scottrussell easterncompany greatshipcompany isambardbrunel leviathan cablelayingship cablelaying northwall dublin 1886 1887 epergne nationallibraryofireland locationidentified

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    Nick Stewart2

    • 21/Nov/2012 09:45:21

    How very decadent. Wonderful photos.

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    robinparkes

    • 21/Nov/2012 09:50:47

    I'd love to see one of the ship berthed at Arklow. I never miss a visit to the Maritime Museum each time I'm down there.

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    Vab2009

    • 21/Nov/2012 09:51:13

    Very opulent! What a great image though - so much detail and this was taken below decks - must have needed a hefty exposure!!

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    blackpoolbeach

    • 21/Nov/2012 09:55:59

    "Her first voyage to North America began on 17 June 1860" She was converted into a cable-laying ship in 1865. "The conversion work for Great Eastern's new role consisted in the removal of funnel no. 4 and some boilers as well as great parts of the passenger rooms and saloons" en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SS_Great_Eastern

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    ccferrie

    • 21/Nov/2012 09:59:59

    I've posted a couple of comments on the other photo which may be of interest

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    Wendy:

    • 21/Nov/2012 13:39:11

    two fantastically detailed images-great!

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    Myrtle26

    • 21/Nov/2012 15:26:54

    This ship was said to be haunted. A worker got locked up inside the steel when it was being built and his tapping with a hammer could frequently be heard. Blackpoolbeach has pointed out that she was converted to a cable ship to which I add that it was she who laid the first successful cable and we haven't lost touch with America ever since. The first cable laid in 1859 broke beyond recovery but Great Western Union which had spent vast money in preparing to lay a cable into Alaska, across the Bering Strait, through Russia into Europe abandoned its plans immediately without a loss of dividend. Its directors knew a cable in this most inhospitable terrain on Earth could never compete with a cable across the Atlantic. The importance of 1859, however, is that a twenty five year licence to land a cable in Newfoundland began then - like a patent - to allow the investors recover their money. That is why other companies couldn't come into Waterville and Ballinskelligs with transatlantic cables until 1884.

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    oaktree_brian_1976

    • 22/Nov/2012 05:23:08

    Oh my, very nice. Wonder what was on the menu? Looks like Champagne buckets on the tables.

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    FTLD

    • 07/Mar/2013 01:59:43

    Excellent photos, and great research in tracking down the place and date! But @Myrtle26 - there are quite a few problems with that story! The legend of a worker being trapped in the double hull is just that - there was access to this space, which was used to effect temporary repairs after Great Eastern ripped a hole in her hull off Long Island, New York. And no bones were found when the ship was broken up. The first Atlantic cable was laid in1858 by the British ship HMS Agamemnon and the American USS Niagara, and failed after a few weeks because of electrical problems. The landing license in Newfoundland was for 50 years from 1854, when the Anglo-American Telegraph Company was established (and Marconi was thrown out of Newfoundland in 1901 because of this). But starting as early as 1869, to get around the Newfoundland restriction cables from France,Ireland, and the UK mainland were landed at Cape Cod Massachusetts, Rye Beach New Hampshire, and several points in Nova Scotia. By 1900 cables were also being landed at Coney Island New York. And it was Western Union which started work on the overland connection via Alaska in 1865, and abandoned the project after the 1866 cable was successfully laid. Much more information on all of this on my website. Bill Burns

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    Myrtle26

    • 07/Mar/2013 11:43:32

    Now, now, if one tells a ghost story he doesn't expect it should or shouldn't be believed or that the explanation surrounding it could be proved correct on examination. People make a hobby of following up explanations to no effect; but that is no reason not to repeat them. The presence of a ghost, like the belief in Faith, is real for those who experience it and that is all that matters. Thanks to FTLD for the comprehensive history, nevertheless, and he strikes me as someone with a very personal interest in the subject of cable stations. Hope you don't mind I saying there is still a Mackay family in Valentia Island and I personally met a direct descendant of the first Superintendant of the Cable Station at Waterville. He was a doctor at the Ear, Eye and Throat Hospital in Omagh and his name, if memory serves me right, was Dr Thomas Wilmot. He had a collection of old and rare books on the subject of which he was very proud.

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    FTLD

    • 07/Mar/2013 16:05:06

    Thanks for being good-natured about it! I've run my site on the history of undersea communications for many years now, and it's a major resource on the subject. My contributor Bill Glover's page on Great Eastern was mentioned in the comments on another of the photos here. I visited Waterville and Valentia a few years ago and met the people who run the Valentia Heritage Centre - I also have a page on visiting the sites of all three of the former cable stations in the area.

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    Myrtle26

    • 07/Mar/2013 16:33:25

    Thanks FTLD and if you are around South Kerry again give me a call. Your more precise explanation of how the rights issue was overcome sent me to Wikipedia where I found the name Mackay and it struck me that the Valentia family who still live in one of the original Cable Station period houses are, most likely, directly connected with the original entrepreneaur. I shall enquire as soon as I can and return to the subject.

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    FTLD

    • 07/Mar/2013 16:51:37

    There might be an indirect Mackay family connection - let me know what you find out. My email address is on every page of my website. The man behind the Commercial Cable Company, whose cables landed at Waterville (where the remains can still be seen on the shore), was John William Mackay, born in Dublin but taken to New York by his parents at an early age. He made his fortune in silver mining and started the cable company in the USA in 1884. I'm sure he would have visited the company's cable stations around the world periodically. Their main cable station for New York was just a few miles from where I live on Long Island, and John Mackay's son Clarence, who continued the business after his father's death, had a mansion not far away. Sadly, it was demolished many years ago along with most of the others from the gilded age of the Great Gatsby..

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    Myrtle26

    • 08/Mar/2013 10:49:30

    The remake of The Great Gatsby is lavish in its reproduction of the period of which you speak. Can't wait to see it.

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    National Library of Ireland on The Commons

    • 09/Mar/2013 17:29:23

    [http://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]] [http://www.flickr.com/photos/mosskayree] Fascinating interchange between you two. Have you seen our photograph of the Married Quarters at Waterville, FTLD?

  • profile

    FTLD

    • 20/Mar/2013 22:36:52

    Sorry for the delay in responding! I'm familiar with those buildings, but it's the first photo I've seen that describes them as married quarters. I've stayed in one of the other houses in the complex, which is now a B&B. More info on the area on my page on the Irish cable stations, and there are more postcards of Waterville on my page on the Commercial Cable Company, which operated the station as part of its transAtlantic network.

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    Myrtle26

    • 01/Apr/2013 15:44:05

    I didn't realize FTLD returned to this subject and find his comment regarding Married Quarters interesting. In the early decades of the last century many guests in the Bay View Hotel, Waterville, listed themselves as telegraphers and this suggests that the Cable Station Houses were not available to them. They were, most likely, single men; so the Lawrence photographer would have given the description quite accurately. Incidentally, the Huggard Family who owned the Bay View Hotel from about 1910 until long after the Cable Station closed remained very good friends not only with the telegraphers but with their families for generations afterwards. The first of the Huggards to own the Bay View Hotel then bought the Butler Arms Hotel which had its beginning as a hotel in the year the Cable Station came to Waterville.