Author Topic: Help for a Reproduction of Irish Immigrants outfit  (Read 334 times)

Offline asmen

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Help for a Reproduction of Irish Immigrants outfit
« on: Monday 28 September 20 23:07 BST (UK) »
Hello everyone,

I am a student at the Royal Academy of Fine arts of Antwerp in the fashion section, and have for assignment to create a historical costume.

Being very interested in the history of immigration, I wanted to use references of irish immigrants from the 19th century and chose the following image as my inspiration :
https://ibb.co/jLPyspN ( guy on the left ).

It would be extremely helpful in anybody could provide stories, pictures, drawings anything from this time period that would help me find information on :

- Where would they get their clothes, were they mostly manufactured at home ? bought from second hand?

- Judged on their outfits what kind of labour and work do you think those two men were doing ( picture from 1860 )

Also, if anybody could provide maybe pictures of ancestors who immigrated to America in the late 19th century to early 20th ? anything really, I basically have to entirely create left guy's outfit from the underwear all the way to the hat and shoes.

 thanks in advance for your help :)

Isaac

Offline Maiden Stone

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Re: Help for a Reproduction of Irish Immigrants outfit
« Reply #1 on: Tuesday 29 September 20 18:33 BST (UK) »
Ireland Reaching Out IrelandXO is a national website for the Irish diaspora. It has an Ancestors section where people post photographs + biographical information about their ancestors. See also XO Chronicles section. Many ancestors were emigrants to North America. The website is arranged by county and then by civil parish of the ancestor if known. https://irelandxo.com

National Museum of Ireland - Costume
https://www.museum.ie/en-IE/Collections-Research/Art-and-Industry-Collections/Art-Industry-Collections-List/Costume
National Museums NI - Costumes and Textiles
https://www.nmni.com/collections/art/costume-and-textiles
Welcome to RootsChat.
Lists of museums in Ireland, some of which have collections about clothing, textile industries, rural life, emigration.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_museums_in_the_Republic_of_Ireland
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_museums_in_Northern_Ireland
There are website links for some.
Bunratty Castle and Folk Park in Clare has a 19th century living village.
Dunbrody, New Ross, Wexford. Replica of a C19th sailing ship and exhibits about emigration.
Cobh heritage Centre, Cobh, cork. Life in Ireland C18th & C19th, mass emigration.
Cavan County Museum, Ballyjamesduff, Cavan - local history, culture, rural life, costumes.
They may be closed at present but there may be staff you could contact.

I've seen instructions for emigrants which included a list of clothing they should take for the voyage. It might have been for emigrants to Australia.
First impressions from the photograph. Young man was wearing a tie. Unlikely to have worn a tie for labouring or farm work. Collars were detachable and not worn when labouring. A spare shirt (if he had one), a collar and tie would be worn on Sundays and occasions when he wasn't at work, e.g. "walking out" with his sweetheart.  His jacket and waistcoat were probably tweed. Missing a button on his waistcoat. Older man was wearing gaiters; suggests to me that he was an outdoors man. Were his trousers moleskin?

An important textile industry in Ireland was linen.
Where they got their clothes from depended on their income and perhaps where they lived. Long-lasting clothes such as coats might be hand-me-downs or bought second-hand. Socks and other knitted garments would be home-made. I don't know if they bought underwear or bought material to make it or cut up old shirts. May have been flannel or linen. Boots would have lasted a long time. Farmers and labourers might have lined them with something in winter to keep out the cold. 
There are Irish trades directories which list businesses by county and town. Some historic editions are online. Adverts in old newspapers may be another source. 
There is a photo-dating board on RootsChat. Some people who contribute to it know about clothes history. They may be able to suggest more sources of information. You could post a version of your enquiry and a link to the photo on it. Say that you have already put a question on the Ireland board.
The oldest photographs of my Irish family were taken for special occasions in early 20thC. Everyone was wearing best clothes.

A few things to bear in mind. Ireland's close connection to Britain. Frequent ships, extensive railway networks + cheap fares on both in 2nd half of 19th century. England's thriving cotton industry. Tradition of Irish people going to work in Britain on farms, in construction and factories and as hawkers and domestic servants. Some went each year for seasonal work, returning to Ireland for winter. Some remained in Britain for years. A proportion of the latter emigrated to a third country (step-migration), a proportion returned to Ireland, perhaps to take over a family farm or to care for elderly parents and a proportion settled permanently in Britain. Some of those travelling to America from Britain may have acquired clothes there, perhaps from outfitters in the departure port, if they could afford the prices. The port of Liverpool served the cotton industry in Lancashire and Cheshire. Raw cotton was imported and manufactured cotton goods were exported. A slogan was "Lancashire Cotton clothes the world". Liverpool was a major port for emigrants and for sailings to & from Ireland. 
Good luck with your project.   
   
 
Cowban

Offline Maiden Stone

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Re: Help for a Reproduction of Irish Immigrants outfit
« Reply #2 on: Tuesday 29 September 20 19:06 BST (UK) »
Looking at the picture again. The older man was holding a tool. I think it's for harvesting or cutting. A type of sickle? Part of the handle is hidden by his jacket so I can't see how long it is. There are websites with old hand tools and museums of rural life in Ireland. This is one.
https://england.prm.ox.ac.uk/englishness-harvesting-tools.html
Cowban


Offline Maiden Stone

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Re: Help for a Reproduction of Irish Immigrants outfit
« Reply #3 on: Tuesday 29 September 20 20:13 BST (UK) »
Have you researched the estate where the men lived and worked?
The caption is "Common" (or is it "Commons"?) "Workmen Clonbrock Estate Ahascragh Galway".
Clonbruck was the seat of the Dillon family. Lord Cronbrock, head of the family, owned 28,000 acres in 1870s. It was one of the most important seats of landed gentry in County Galway.  Lord Cronbrock held 2,000 acres of untenanted land + Clonbrock mansion house in 1906.
Information about Ahascragh:
https://heritage.galwaycommunityheritage.org/content/places/towns-and-villages/ahascragh
Some links at the foot of the article don't work. The one to Galway Library under heading "History" has an account of a visitor to Clonbrock in 1839 who mentioned oaks felled for timber, pheasants and porter's lodges. (I wonder if the building behind the 2 men was a lodge? A lodge was a small house on an estate for an estate worker.)
Ahascragh is 8 miles NW of the town of Ballinasloe.

"The Clonbrock Estate" in "Irish Farmers' Journal"
Writer visited in 21st century and spoke to a local historian. There was a sawmill, forge, deer park. A team of gardeners + 2 men to look after the roads. Suggestion that Lord Clonbrock killed some deer to feed tenants during the Great Famine (1840's).
https://www.farmersjournal.ie/the-clonbrock-estate-208819
There are 3000 photographs in the Clonbrock collection in National Library of Ireland.

The Landed Estates Database is at National University of Ireland Galway.
www.landedestates.nuigalway.ie/LandedEstates/jsp/property-show.jsp?id=899
Clicking on the estate name Dillon (Clonbrock) will bring up a list of other properties belonging to the estate, with pictures of some.
Added: Last link doesn't work. Try searching for Clonbrock landed estates database Galway university.
Cowban

Offline Maiden Stone

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Re: Help for a Reproduction of Irish Immigrants outfit
« Reply #4 on: Tuesday 29 September 20 20:48 BST (UK) »
Some people from Ahascragh civil parish posted by descendents on Ireland Reaching Out website. At least 1 worked at Clonbrock Estate. Some emigrated to N. America. Unfortunately there's only a photo of one, head & shoulders of a woman.
https://irelandxo.com/ireland/galway/ahascragh-galway
Click "All from this parish" for profiles of other people.
You could join Ahasragh parish on Ireland Reaching Out, post a link to the photo and ask if anyone recognises the men or knows what they did. 

Cowban

Offline Maiden Stone

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Re: Help for a Reproduction of Irish Immigrants outfit
« Reply #5 on: Tuesday 29 September 20 21:44 BST (UK) »
Looking at the picture again. The older man was holding a tool. I think it's for harvesting or cutting. A type of sickle? Part of the handle is hidden by his jacket so I can't see how long it is. There are websites with old hand tools and museums of rural life in Ireland. This is one.
https://england.prm.ox.ac.uk/englishness-harvesting-tools.html

I wonder if it was for cutting heather or bracken. Heather might need to be cleared from an area of bog before turf (peat) underneath was cut for fuel. Names for such a tool include scraw cutter, flatcher and flachter (Gaelic). There's bound to be one in a rural collection of a museum.
 Spades for cutting and lifting turf (peat) have long handles and part of the blade is at right angle to the main part. Descriptions of turf cutting and drawings of various types of turf spades here:
Turf spade www.pcl-eu.de/virt_ex/detail.php?entry=05
There's a Facebook page for Ahascragh. Recent post about a walk around Clonbrock demesne. A post from April shows a photo of 2 men cutting turf.
Cowban

Offline Kiltaglassan

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Re: Help for a Reproduction of Irish Immigrants outfit
« Reply #6 on: Wednesday 30 September 20 11:59 BST (UK) »

There are website links for some.
Bunratty Castle and Folk Park in Clare has a 19th century living village.
Dunbrody, New Ross, Wexford. Replica of a C19th sailing ship and exhibits about emigration.
Cobh heritage Centre, Cobh, cork. Life in Ireland C18th & C19th, mass emigration.
Cavan County Museum, Ballyjamesduff, Cavan - local history, culture, rural life, costumes.
They may be closed at present but there may be staff you could contact.


Another museum (which I've been to) and is well worth contacting is the National Museum of Ireland, Country Life at Turlough Park, Castlebar, Co. Mayo.
https://www.museum.ie/en-IE/Contact (Country Life)

KG


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Offline Skoosh

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Re: Help for a Reproduction of Irish Immigrants outfit
« Reply #7 on: Thursday 01 October 20 14:37 BST (UK) »
Tool? a Billhook, used in laying hedges etc. Welcome to Rootschat.

Skoosh.

Offline sarah

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Re: Help for a Reproduction of Irish Immigrants outfit
« Reply #8 on: Thursday 01 October 20 17:29 BST (UK) »
Hello Asmen,

You will find the reply button just below the last response on the right hand side.

Regards

Sarah
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