Tramore Races. Toft's Show. Tramore Amusement Field

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Where: Waterford, Ireland

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When: 01 January 1901

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Hold your horses, we are off to the races, to the Tramore races in 1901 to be precise. Another fabulous photograph from Mr Poole. We see from the catalogue and the description that this is part of W. Toft & Sons amusement offering which I should think was a very attractive offering to Tramoreites and visitors alike so early in the last century. What more can you tell us about this scene?

Photographer: A. H. Poole

Collection: Poole Photographic Studio, Waterford

Date: 1901

NLI Ref: POOLEWP 0358

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

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Owner: National Library of Ireland on The Commons
Source: Flickr Commons
Views: 20541
ahpoole arthurhenripoole glassnegative nationallibraryofireland wtoftcons toft tofts amusements edison edisons electriclivingpictures films tramore cowaterford waterford munster races horseracing tramoreraces 1901 amusementfield tramoreites motorcarexplosion explosionofamotorcar cinematograph sideshow funfair merries manofmanycoats tramoreamusements edisonstudios williamtoft’stravellingfair williamtoft pipers countywaterford carousel chairoplane pipersfield wurlitzermilitarybandorgan strandroad johnbeach poolephotographiccollection

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  • profile

    John Spooner

    • 15/Jan/2019 08:43:40

    One of the NEW FILIMS (sic) advertised - "The Motor Car Explosion" can be seen on youtube (unless there were more than one such film). Dated 1900

  • profile

    sharon.corbet

    • 15/Jan/2019 08:49:22

    [https://www.flickr.com/photos/johnspooner] It also has its own wikipage.

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    John Spooner

    • 15/Jan/2019 08:53:30

    As is Man of Many Coats, also dated 1900

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    National Library of Ireland on The Commons

    • 15/Jan/2019 08:53:46

    https://www.flickr.com/photos/johnspooner https://www.flickr.com/photos/scorbet It is very good.

  • profile

    National Library of Ireland on The Commons

    • 15/Jan/2019 08:59:44

    https://www.flickr.com/photos/johnspooner The Coat movie is still quite funny!

  • profile

    abandoned railways

    • 15/Jan/2019 09:04:44

    https://www.flickr.com/photos/nlireland Box camera, next to Shawled woman selling goods

  • profile

    National Library of Ireland on The Commons

    • 15/Jan/2019 09:07:13

    https://www.flickr.com/photos/abandonedrailsireland I am patting myself on the back for having spotted that!!

  • profile

    sharon.corbet

    • 15/Jan/2019 09:09:11

    There is a colouredy version of this photo at the Waterford Museum.

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    abandoned railways

    • 15/Jan/2019 09:14:35

    I notice the rides are populated by adults only

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    BeachcomberAustralia

    • 15/Jan/2019 09:26:21

    *grabs popcorn*

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    DannyM8

    • 15/Jan/2019 09:35:29

    These Tramoreties could not be classed as cynophilists!!

  • profile

    National Library of Ireland on The Commons

    • 15/Jan/2019 09:40:54

    I have just added this fantastic Grafton Street shot to our 100,000 plus views album. [https://www.flickr.com/photos/nlireland/9199565442] www.flickr.com/photos/nlireland/albums/72157651599255125

  • profile

    Niall McAuley

    • 15/Jan/2019 09:47:54

    The race course on the 25" map. I think the amusements are a bit nearer town - that's a real road with footpath and gas streetlight, while the paths out at the racecourse are more sketchy. I think this is Strand Road, still home to the amusements today. Streetview.

  • profile

    National Library of Ireland on The Commons

    • 15/Jan/2019 13:26:33

    https://www.flickr.com/photos/abandonedrailsireland I wonder did the Coal come from Spencer's??

  • profile

    ofarrl

    • 15/Jan/2019 13:35:40

    https://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/ you are spot on with the location. The field where the amusements were was known locally as Piper’s Field after one of the other amusement operators.

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    John A. Coffey

    • 15/Jan/2019 14:20:18

    A lovely big trailer of coal to keep the show on the road.

  • profile

    oaktree_brian_1976

    • 15/Jan/2019 15:16:28

    Edison was in the movie business starting 1896, so this was a pretty new thing in 1901. en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Edison_Studios

  • profile

    abandoned railways

    • 15/Jan/2019 19:26:53

    A cinematograph is a motion picture film camera, invented in the 1890s in Lyon, by Auguste and Louis Lumière. First shown in 1895, so this was really new technology here. They were hand cranked. Edison invented an electric operated version, but it was peepshow style, not displayed on a screen.

  • profile

    ofarrl

    • 15/Jan/2019 23:06:42

    This was William Toft’s traveling fair, his brother John was also in the same business. I believe Abby Toft who had amusements in Galway was another relative, he was married to Florence Piper from Tramore.

  • profile

    jamica1

    • 15/Jan/2019 23:56:56

    [https://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]] [https://www.flickr.com/photos/abandonedrailsireland] This book has a good discussion of the issue books.google.ca/books?id=WVVX4NHS8TwC&pg=PA80&lpg...

  • profile

    guliolopez

    • 16/Jan/2019 00:43:08

    I'm still skitting at the classic Irish spelling of that two syllable word: "filim" :D Barely distinguishable from the regional variant: "filum" :)

  • profile

    National Library of Ireland on The Commons

    • 16/Jan/2019 06:27:15

    https://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected] Very funny! in Dublin 4 it is exclusively Film!

  • profile

    National Library of Ireland on The Commons

    • 16/Jan/2019 06:34:06

    In the 1901 Census there are 35 Toft surnames in the Census.

  • profile

    National Library of Ireland on The Commons

    • 16/Jan/2019 06:37:51

    Here we have William 42 a Showman and his Wife May 34 a Showoman Census. No Sons shown?

  • profile

    National Library of Ireland on The Commons

    • 16/Jan/2019 06:39:57

    There is also a Thomas Toft who was a Hobby Horse Owner!

  • profile

    ofarrl

    • 16/Jan/2019 10:56:31

    https://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/ I believe Thomas may also have been another brother. He was sued along with William by the Central Hotel Company in 1889 over a pair of noisy steam organs they had on a plot of ground on Exchequer Street, Dublin.

  • profile

    BeachcomberAustralia

    • 16/Jan/2019 12:25:13

    I think there is a steam(?) organ evident here below "PICTURES" (see note).

  • profile

    ofarrl

    • 16/Jan/2019 13:44:00

    [https://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/] well spotted! Looks very similar to this Wurlitzer m.youtube.com/watch?v=fzz6fIUYHEA&feature=youtu.be

  • profile

    National Library of Ireland on The Commons

    • 16/Jan/2019 15:24:14

    https://www.flickr.com/photos/beachcomberaustralia https://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected] Eagle Eyes!!

  • profile

    Niall McAuley

    • 16/Jan/2019 16:20:03

    At far left is a stall belonging to J Beach. There is only one such in the 1911 census, John Beach, 72, Showman, Fancy Fair.

  • profile

    ofarrl

    • 16/Jan/2019 17:30:27

    John Beach had an advert in The Freeman’s Journal, August 1898 looking for a “RESPECTABLE, sober Man wanted capable to drive engine for set of Hobby Horses, and make himself generally useful ; also four active young men to travel with same ; also man and wife that is used to look after shooting gallery, and make themselves generally useful when required. Address John Beach, Steam Hobby Horses, Tramore, County Waterford.”

  • profile

    Karin Joy Passmore

    • 02/Feb/2019 15:30:37

    Irish stone wall with the top row of stones set together like books on a shelf...

  • profile

    Karin Joy Passmore

    • 02/Feb/2019 15:31:21

    Movies: let the age of propaganda begin!!

  • profile

    Simon Bramwell

    • 15/Mar/2020 17:31:35

    My late great aunt's grandfather, William Toft. Her other grandfather was William Piper.

  • profile

    National Library of Ireland on The Commons

    • 16/Mar/2020 17:09:09

    https://www.flickr.com/photos/sbramwell Hi Simon, we love to hear from relatives of the people in our photos, please tell us more.

  • profile

    DavidWard112

    • 10/Apr/2020 18:34:16

    As far as this photo goes, there's a lot going on here. On the far left is J.Beach's Tube Shooter. These were popular items for showmen as they were compact when put away and the wagon was lightweight and their popularity among men meant it was a good little profit maker for the showman. In the background is a set of swing-boats and hidden, with the exception of some of its rounding-boards, is a set of gallopers. People today call them carousels, but the proper term is gallopers. Just stood in front of the swing-boats with a chimney on is a Savage Light Engine. A light engine was a simple boiler mounted steam engine with a dynamo driven by a belt from the flywheel. These were simple machines and required minimal effort to keep them running. Savages of Kings Lynn(UK) were manufacturers of fairground rides and indeed, steam engines to power the rides. This is likely providing power for the bioscope show and the lights adorning it. The bioscope show is what you see taking primary position in the photo, as it advertises "Edisons Latest Discovery". The bioscope show is what we consider today to be the cinema. These travelling shows consisted of ornately carved frontages, graced by a stage in front and complimented by a fairground organ. In this case, you can see the trumpet organ stood on the end of the show, this was likely built by a Parisian firm by the name of Gavioli and is possibly operated on a pin barrel system. It isn't a steam organ as there's no steam involved in how it plays, it's all entirely on air. The tent behind houses the moving picture show and these were usually movies consisting of footage from around the globe or short comedy pictures. The idea of the show is that the organ plays to attract the people and they enter to see the movie inside, which was typically musically accompanied by a piano. The popularity of the bioscope show saw people wanting to view moving pictures all year round and not just when the fair came to town. Thusly, the cinema was born and picture houses began to spring up in the cities and large towns around the country. On the right hand side is a ride which doesn't feature well in this photo but we see enough to know that it is either a switchback ride or a Venetian Golden Gondola ride. This ride would've been highly ornate, possibly built by Savages of Kings Lynn but more likely by a firm named George Orton, Sons and Spooner Limited who were based in Burton-On-Trent. Orton and Spooner were renowned for their heavily decorated and ornate rides. Right down to the cars the punters were riding in, no time was wasted by their team of highly skilled craftsmen to produce some of the finest carvings in the fairground world. Again, this machine would have had an organ in the centre providing the music, just the same as the gallopers in the background would have too. The organs in the centres of these rides would be larger than that of the barrel organ on the front of the bioscope show and thusly, much louder. They were also likely playing on the new cardboard music book system, which was patented in 1891 by Anselmo Gavioli in Paris and replaced the pin barrel system thereafter.