Limerick was formerly an important place for exporting grain and provisions. At that time a fine fleet of schooners, principally employed in the trade to London, was owned there; and some large brigs, barques, and ships, engaged in the passenger and timber trade with North America, hailed from the port. But the maritime trade has declined greatly of late years, and the number of vessels has become proportionably reduced. At present the shipping consists of a few colliers and timber vessels, and a fleet of five screw steamers. The latter monopolize so much of the trade between the city and the English ports as the railways do not absorb. A number of foreign vessels, principally with grain from the Mediterranean, arrive at the port, and the seamen that are met with here are for the most part Italians, French, and Austrians. There is now a large floating dock at Limerick with gates 75 feet wide. A Sailors’ Home was recently erected here, but it has never been opened, as there are at present hardly any sailors to be found at the port, except a few such foreigners as have been just described.
“Visits to the Sea Coasts” in The Shipwrecked Mariner Vol VIII No XXIX January 1861
I thought it would be interesting to ask the British Newspaper Archive what people were reading about in newspapers published in Dublin between 1 January 1845 and 31 December 1850. The BNA has scans of two Dublin newspapers for that period, the Freeman’s Journal and the Dublin Evening Mail. I used the archive to search for four different words in those newspapers in that period; I then counted the numbers of results.
On the first round, I included ads and family notices.
Terms in Dublin newspapers (incl ads) 1845–1850
I guessed that the numbers for steam and railway might be exaggerated by their inclusion in ads so, on the second round, I excluded both ads and family notices. The result was as expected.
Terms in Dublin newspapers (excl ads) 1845–1850
I then asked Google’s Ngram machine to count the numbers of occurrences of four pairs of words between 1845 and 1850. I asked it to do a case-insentitive search, but it can’t do that for “compositions” (combinations of words), so it counted:
Here is what it came up with, but whence I know not, other than that it searched the corpus English. The embedding process doesn’t seem to be working, so I’ve left the code here but also cut and pasted the output.
I suspect that, in recent times, the amount written about steam and railways of the period 1845–1850 in Ireland has been rather less than that about potatoes and the famine.
Posted in Built heritage, Canals, Charles Wye Williams, Economic activities, Engineering and construction, Extant waterways, Foreign parts, Industrial heritage, Ireland, Irish inland waterways vessels, Operations, People, Rail, Sea, Shannon, Sources, Steamers, waterways
Tagged boats, bridge, canal, Dublin, famine, Ireland, Killaloe, Limerick, Lough Derg, Operations, potato, railway, Royal Canal, sea, Shannon, steam, steamer, waterways, Waterways Ireland