20th Century Transport in Dublin

Dublin Transport: Changing Streetscapes and vehicles through the 20th Century

The following web pages remind us how Dublin's constantly changing streetscapes owe as much to the road traffic in use at a particular time, as to architecture and building structures. Transport can be credited with contributing to a city's unique appearance and its visual history and this was certainly the case in Dublin in the 20th century. The dating of a scene is greatly assisted by having a knowledge of historical transport and this is illustrated by the examples of street scene on this page.

This is a postcard of College Green taken in the years 1903-1906. Trams are again in use. Parked in their allocated position, awaiting business, are horse-drawn cabs known as 'cars', which were driven by drivers called 'jarveys'. It is interesting that the position on the street is where there is an established taxi-rank in modern times. The automobile is not as yet a common feature.

Streetscene of O'Connell St. from O'Connell Bridge
By kind permission of Seamus Kearns, Old Dublin Society

This streetscene of O'Connell Street taken from O'Connell Bridge was taken circa 1953. The tram tracks are still embedded in the ground but the trams and overheads are gone. The central traffic isle, with flower-beds on, was created for a tourism festival in 1953.

The final image shows an aerial view of O'Connell Street in the late 1960s. A blue and green liveried bus is visible going up O'Connell Street. There are no Atlantean buses yet.

Grateful acknowledgement is due to Dublin City Council Public Libraries, The Transport Museum Society of Ireland and the Old Dublin Society who have provided the illustrations of streets and vehicles. The Transport Museum Society of Ireland assisted greatly with the supply of information on the vehicles shown. Most of these can be visited at The National Transport Museum of Ireland located in Howth, County Dublin.


© Dublin City Public Libraries

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