Archive for the ‘publications’ Category

Made in Ireland? journal article now online

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FAM vacuum cleaner FS55

Coming to the end of a very busy year, we are delighted to have just published the first journal article based on the project research material. ‘Made in Ireland?’ is part of Volume 8 of Writing Visual Culture, which focuses on New Approaches to Design History as part of the Design History Society and Journal of Design History anniversary celebrations. The article looks at hybrid product designs, where the national identification isn’t as simple as being designed, manufactured and sold within the one state, and offers a suggestion as to how they can be considered in a globalised world. It usesĀ FAM washing machines and vacuum cleaners as an example, which were manufactured in Wicklow from 1957, but designed in the Netherlands, and sold on both the domestic and export markets. The direct link to the article in PDF format is here – as usual, all feedback and comments are welcome.

Merry Christmas to everyone involved in the project, especially the oral history volunteers and all our online and social media readers!

Powering the Nation – new book from Sorcha O’Brien

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Powering the Nation

 

I’m delighted to be able to announce the publication of Powering the Nation: Images of the Shannon Scheme and Electricity in Ireland. This book is based on my research on an earlier time period of electricity in Ireland, that of the 1920s and very early 1930s, when the first Irish Government invited Siemens to construct a hydro-electric power station on the banks of the Shannon river in county Clare. The Shannon Scheme, now known as Ardnacrusha, became a symbol of not just electrical power, but of progress and modernity in Ireland, and the book looks at the process of building the station and then at the ways in which this symbol was communicated to the people of Ireland. The visual material analysed runs the gamut of official and unofficial images, from Siemens photographs and a commemorative stamp, to the work of visiting artists and collectible postcards and cigarette cards, all trying to situate this modern project within the cultural landscape of the new Free State, which took its inspiration from the antiquarian and the rural. It looks at the different ways in which different groups of people reconciled these forces of tradition and modernity in their images of the Shannon Scheme, from the workers on the Scheme itself, to the artists of the Metropolitan School of Art.

 

Powering the Nation books

 

The book is published by Irish Academic Press, with support from the ESB, and is available from all good bookshops and from Irish Academic Press’ website.