Buildings by sea. Men and women, fish, barrels, pile of salt. Smoking of salting of fish.

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Where: Kerry, Ireland

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When: 01 January 1900

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On a visit to the collection of the esteemed Mr. Mason today with a pong of fish hanging over all. This old lantern slide shows a scene of great industry with lots of barrels and busy people under the watchful eye of the aptly titled overseer.

With thanks to today's contributors it is confirmed that this is likely the "slate yard" close to the Royal Pier on Valencia Island country Kerry. The consensus is that these barrels contain cured fish (possibly mackerel) ready for shipment.

Collection: Mason Photographic Collection

Date: ca. 1890-1910

NLI Ref: M56/60

You can also view this image, and many thousands of others, on the NLI’s catalogue at catalogue.nli.ie

Info:

Owner: National Library of Ireland on The Commons
Source: Flickr Commons
Views: 25632
thomasholmesmason thomasmayne thomashmasonsonslimited lanternslides nationallibraryofireland kerry knightstown valencia barrels overseer pier driedfish fishcuring mackerel slateyard royalpier 200lb máirebeanuisheaghdha locationidentified valentia valenciavalentia

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    Swordscookie

    • 26/Apr/2016 07:00:47

    This is a feast for the eyes with all that is going on here! The sorting by the men and women closest to the camera, under the eye of the overseer, is clearly dried fish. The barrels are so numerous it has to have been a large fishing port. Off in the distance a hulk seems to be beached on the far shore of the river/inlet! Terrific image.

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    sharon.corbet

    • 26/Apr/2016 07:11:35

    Valentia according to this photo. "Barrels of pickled mackerel at the Slate Yard, Knightsown, awaiting shipment to the United States at the turn of the century". is the description underneath.

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    DannyM8

    • 26/Apr/2016 07:35:02

    https://www.flickr.com/photos/swordscookie Dried or smoked?

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    Niall McAuley

    • 26/Apr/2016 09:39:00

    See this General view of the harbour at Knight's town, i can't see where this fits at all.

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    derangedlemur

    • 26/Apr/2016 09:52:07

    [https://www.flickr.com/photos/gnmcauley] Looking at the map, (maps.osi.ie/publicviewer/#V2,442629,577319,12,9), you can't get the googlemobile into the right spot. It's the other side of the Royal Pier Bar. (Also, it's not like you not to be reaching straight for the 25" - was it broken earlier?)

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    Niall McAuley

    • 26/Apr/2016 09:59:52

    [https://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]] Good spot! This one labelled Port Magee really is Knight's Town before the fancy hotel was built. And up in the slate works (disused) I see that four-post structure from our shot here! So Knight's town it is, before the hotel was fancified.

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    derangedlemur

    • 26/Apr/2016 10:09:04

    Look's like much the same scene as the main picture but seen from the pier.

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    Niall McAuley

    • 26/Apr/2016 10:15:26

    The NIAH says the current hotel was built around 1880, but they don't sound very sure. DIA has no reference.

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    derangedlemur

    • 26/Apr/2016 10:18:39

    The clocktower isn't there in the alleged Port Magee one, which looks contemporaneous with this picture.

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    sharon.corbet

    • 26/Apr/2016 10:20:54

    An article about the "Peig Sayers" of Valentia, Máire Bean Ui Sheaghdha mentions the following: "Another industry in Valentia was fish curing. It was cured in the Slate Yard, also in Portmagee and Renard Point. I worked curing mackerel in the Slate Yard, packed it into barrels of pickle and a steamer took it from Valentia Pier to Cork to be shipped to England and the USA. It was very nice to see so many seine boats and followers rowing the channel a fine harvest morning to the Point with their cargo of fish, mackerel especially.

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    Niall McAuley

    • 26/Apr/2016 10:21:40

    That mislabelled reverse view is close in date, and would show the clocktower/weighbridge if it was there, so before 1890, perhaps even 1880.

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    Melinda Young Stuart

    • 26/Apr/2016 12:12:34

    Hard work!

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    oaktree_brian_1976

    • 26/Apr/2016 13:08:00

    salted and smoked fish, have to avoid that now, the blood pressure will go way up.

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    Cool Laser Beam

    • 26/Apr/2016 16:16:25

    a wonderful photo!

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    Swordscookie

    • 26/Apr/2016 18:53:57

    https://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected] Whichever, it is stiff as the moisture has been taken out of it:-)

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    National Library of Ireland on The Commons

    • 27/Apr/2016 00:08:09

    Thanks all! One imagines how this yard smelled at the time. Tireless work on display however. Presumably, once filled, the (200lb?) barrels were simply rolled down to the pier. https://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected], when was that first-hand account captured from Máire Bean Ui Sheaghdha? Do we think she could be one of the workers pictured?

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    sharon.corbet

    • 27/Apr/2016 12:01:08

    https://www.flickr.com/photos/nlireland I was wondering that myself, but the article mentioned that she died in 1978, so assuming the date of pre-1890 that https://www.flickr.com/photos/gnmcauley suggested is correct, she probably isn't there.

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    Karin Joy Passmore

    • 29/Apr/2016 12:07:52

    Thank you so much for posting this photo. It shows the everyday life of fish workers; I love it!!