Planes, trains and automobiles

26 June 2008 - 25 October 2008

National Photographic Archive, Temple Bar

Transport – always a topical subject – is a theme that is referenced in many of the National Photographic Archive’s collections, including the Lawrence Collection, the Morgan Collection, the Independent Newspapers (Ireland) Collection, the Poole Collection, the O’Dea Collection and recently acquired Justin Nelson Collection.

The NPA's exhibition, Planes, Trains and Automobiles, drew on these collections to give a picture of transport in twentieth-century Ireland. The ‘trains’ section of the exhibition featured images of early steam trains, including a Lawrence collection photograph taken on Ballydehob Viaduct around 1910. Also included was a photograph of a crash at Harcourt Street Station in Dublin on St Valentine’s Day, February 1900, and various photographs of trains and drivers on long-since closed sections of railway lines in Counties Meath, Louth, Dublin and Kildare. 

Harcourt Street Station, 1900Harcourt Street Station, 1900

Featuring among the images in the ‘planes’ section was an historic photograph of Amelia Earhart, the first woman aviator to fly solo across the Atlantic from west to east; it showed her standing beside her plane just after she landed in Derry in May 1932. Other arresting images included a photograph of the first flight taking off from Baldonnell airfield in September 1927, and images of seaplanes at the Foynes seaplane terminal County Limerick in 1938.

Among the images included in the ‘automobiles’ section of the exhibition were photographs of competitors taking part in the 1930 Irish International Grand Prix in the Phoenix Park; the launch of the Ford Anglia motor car in 1959, and images of early motoring tourists in Ireland.

The exhibition, which took place at the National Photographic Archive in Temple Bar, ran until 25 October.

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