William Lawrence’s Cork

The man who took all the photographs, other than studio portraits, for the firm of William Lawrence from the late 1870s to 1914 was Dublin man Robert French. He took at least 40,000 photographs over approximately 30 years. During that time railways criss-crossed the land. Irish cities in particular were being transformed. Public transport was being introduced. Dublin, Cork and Belfast were expanding rapidly. Whole new suburbs were built. Ireland followed Victorian fashions and trends (Horgan, 2002, p.30).

       William Lawrence developed lecture sets covering each city, county and beauty spot, portraits of priests, prelates and politicians, churches, jails and prisons, scenes of Irish life and character, comic sketches of Irish life and character. They came in albums, as magic lantern slides, and stereoscopic views. There were postcards by the thousands. Most of them hand-coloured as were the other views which came in elaborate frames.