East Belfast, Images of Ireland; Keith Haines

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This fascinating collection of over 200 photographs reflects the history, character, life and people of East Belfast over the last one hundred years.


In the second half of the nineteenth century, Belfast grew more rapidly than any other city in the British Isles and it became the most urbanised and densely populated region of Ireland. In 1854 the boundary of Belfast itself was extended to incorporate the burgeoning Ballymacarrett district.


The development of East Belfast grew from its maritime location: the cutting of the Lagan estuary which enabled the expansion of the port and harbour; the establishment of transatlantic and imperial trade and shipping; the establishment of railways and - not least - the entrepreneurial flair of industrialists such as Edward Harland and Sir Samuel Davidson. The area hosted a wide range of industries and businesses such as glassmaking, fertilisers and chemicals, distilling, spinning and weaving but, primarily, the mainstays of British industrial greatness: textiles (especially linen), engineering and shipbuilding.


This important sequence of photographs has been assembled from the collections of the East Belfast Historical Society, local and former residents of the area and local institutions.

 


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