Lovely photo from the South County Dublin Libraries Archive (click to enlarge and click again to zoom) of a prosperous middle-class Dublin family outside their newish residence, Dodder Cottage, c. 1872.
The text accompanying the photo says that Dodder Cottage was in Irishtown, but it looks like one of the cottages on the road which runs beside the Dodder from Ballsbridge to the Aviva. The start of this road is known as Beatty’s Avenue, and Beatty is the name of the family in this photo. Perhaps theirs was the original house on the road?
A search in the online 1901 census doesn’t bring up any Beattys living in Irishtown as such, but there is a record of a Patrick J Beatty and his wife Mary Margaret, both in their fifties, and their daughter Elizabeth Josephine, in her teens, living in Ballsbridge (sub-district Irishtown). They are still living there in 1911, in what appears to be the same premises, although it has been renumbered. It is described as just off the Merrion Road, and indeed that description applies to Beatty’s Avenue too.
Maybe not the same cottage (it is described as a shop), but perhaps the same family? Patrick and Mary Margaret would have been in their twenties when this photograph was taken. Presumably Elizabeth Josephine was a late arrival and maybe their other children (possibly some in the photograph?) were settled elsewhere by 1901.
The Beattys appear to have been a fashionable lot and not only were their infant carriages bang up to the 1870s minute but they are dressed beautifully. The lady seated on the right is particularly glam with her little velvet cape and bow. Naturally her baby is the best-dressed too. And her husband the most dashing of the men in the picture. I bet her sisters-in-law were mad jealous. The one in the tartan frock seated on the grass at the front looks particularly sour.
The windows of the cottage are lovely. When I was very little there were a lot of those windows still around but the double-glazing sales push of the 1980s put paid to a lot of them before I could really remember them. There seems to be a white figure (a maid?) visible through the one on the left. I like to think she wasn’t allowed into the seated group at the front, not being family, but managed to get herself into the photo nonetheless. I hope she got to view a copy. Seeing oneself on camera in the 1870s must have been a thing of wonder.
On the subject of perambulators, the nicest I’ve ever seen is this one from Bray Seafront (JJ Clarke, 1890s). I love the two little horses on the front. It must have been great fun to see them trotting along, even more fun to be sitting behind them. The Beatty perambulators, sadly, were horseless, but very elegant nonetheless.