Everything and anything to do with industry in Ireland.

Click on images to enlarge.

Page updated 14/6/2020


Braidwater Spinning Mill, Ballymena, Co.Antrim


The linen industry once employed thousands in Northern Ireland, and the Braidwater Mill was established in 1865 employing generations from the town and surrounding area. The Mill closed down in 1998 and has since been demolished. Today the site is occupied by a retail park.

Gallaher’s Tobacco Works, Belfast

Gallahers Tobacco Works Belfast pu 1911

A rather fine early view of Gallaher’s Factory. No publisher but probably an officially commissioned card. Postally used in 1911. More information about Gallaher’s here.

Harland & Wolff, Belfast

H & W Shipyard Fergus O'Connor, DublinHarland & Woolf FRONT

Left to right: Harland & Wolff Shipyards, Belfast viewed from Queen’s Road. Published by Fergus O’Connor, Dublin and The South Yard published by W.E.Walton, 57 Royal Avenue, Belfast.

hw-2  valentines-harland-wolf  a-cargo-liner-safely-launched-at-belfast-shipyards-valentines

Above: Three views published by Valentines of Dundee.

At the shipyard’s peaking during World War .2. an incredible 35,000 people worked here!

The Belfast Ropework Company

Founded in 1875 by Gustav Wilhelm Wolff one of the partners in the Harland & Wolff Shipyards, and W H Smiles.

Belfast Ropeworks - Copy

A card is from the W R & S ‘Reliable’ series (95/246) and produced for a local publisher – W.J. Cunningham, Connswater.

Whiskey Distilling at Bushmills

Bushmills Distillery

A modern view of the “Old Bushmills” Distillery at Bushmills, County Antrim. Unknown publisher.

More information about the history of the distillery here:


The Bleach Greens at Annvale, Keady, Co.Armagh

USED 1912 PUB BY EDMONDSON & CO Annvale Keady Co Armagh

County Armagh was an important centre for the linen industry and this interesting card, posted in 1912, shows the massive scale of the works in a very rural location. The card was published by Edmondson & Co.

More information about the Linen Industry in Co.Armagh here.

The Sugar Beet Factory, Carlow

The factory opened in 1926 and closed down in 2005. Published by Cardall Ltd., Dublin and postally used in 1961.

Hydroelectric Power in Donegal

An early view by Valentine’s of the Hydro station at Cathleen’s Falls on the River Erne near Ballyshannon, Co.Donegal.

More information about the power station and its construction here:


The Linen Weaving Industry

An early view of the Holm Factory at Dromore, built for Murphy & Stevenson Ltd as a weaving factory, eventually being taken over by Ewart Liddell of Donaghcloney. The factory wove damask tablecloths and napkin as well as plain cloth.

Unknown publisher.

Dickson, Ferguson & Co., linen weaving factory at Banbridge, Co.Down. The company still trades today and a brief history may be found here:

Card published by Aerofilms.

Fish Processing

A busy scene at Ardglass Harbour, Co.Down – postally used 1925. Unknown publisher.

Early Windpower

Ballycopeland Windmill Ranscombe IOM pc FRONT

Ballycopeland Windmill, Co.Down published by Ranscombe Photographics Ltd., Douglas, Isle of Man.

More information here.

Lead mines at Newtownards, Co.Down

View of Lead Mines Newtownards Pub Boyle of Newtonards

Whitespots, a couple of miles north of Newtownards was once an important area for lead mining (c.1849-1910) and at one stage in the mid-nineteenth century accounted for almost 40% of all lead produced in Ireland. The post-industrial wasteland is now being redeveloped as Whitespots Country Park.

Card by a local publisher – Boyle of Newtownards.

Harnessing Wind Energy in an earlier era

On An Irish Hilltop pu 1958 Valentines Carbo Colour

On an Irish Hilltop: a nice Valentines card of an unidentified windmill p.u 1958.


The Guinness Brewery, St.James’s Gate, Dublin

Another fine view taken from the Kingsbridge (Heuston) Station end of the brewery. The extent of the rail operation within the complex is visible on the left. An official card – GA/ 1028.E.


Guinness pcCooperage Guinness

Guinness Wharf Dublin

Guinness Ship Lady Patricia

Above: ‘The Lady Patricia’ heads past the Bailey Lighthouse with a load of stout bound for Liverpool.

Three Guinness ships

Above: A nice aerial view showing three Guinness ships tied up near the Custom House, Dublin – unknown publisher.

Arthur Guinness established his brewery at St.James’s Gate in 1759 and for many years it was the largest brewery in the World. Occupying some 64 acres it had an extensive internal railway system – also the largest of its type to be found anywhere and a fleet of ships for the export trade. Sadly, Arthur Guinness & Co. passed out of family control in 1986 and today is part of the giant Diageo Group.

Guinness for Export

Ferries at Custom House FRONT

A hectic scene on the River Liffey published by Philip Hunt, London.

More information here: Guinness Brewery

ESB Power Station, Portarlington

Ireland’s first peat-fired power station which operated from 1950-1988 – no publisher indicated but probably an official card.

Full story here: Portarlington Generating Station 1946-1988 A Pictorial History


The Shannon Hydroelectric Scheme (1925-29)

Ardnacrusha RP Signal Series pu 1948Shannon Scheme Headrace


Above left to right: The Dam and Power Station at Ardnacrusha from an Eason & Son ‘Signal Series’ card p.u. in 1948. Construction work at the Headrace from a 1931 photograph by C.Shepherd; General construction scene – unknown publisher. Note the extensive network of mixed narrow gauge railways employed in the days before road machines ruled the roost.

Above: Erection of the turbine casings and pipes – published by T Carroll & Sons Stationers, Limerick.

Lots more information on the project here: Shannon Hydroelectric Scheme

Limerick Docks

Limerick Docks ValentineLIMERICK DOCKSLimerick Docks HUMBERTO Adverts

An interesting selection of views of Limerick Docks, taken from the same viewpoint and showing significant changes with the passage of the years.


Nestles’ Factory, Castledawson, Co.Derry

Opened in 1943 to produced sweetened condensed milk the factory which at one time employed 200 people closed in the 1970s. Valentine’s card postally used in 1959.

William Clark & Sons Ltd., Upperlands, Co.Derry

Beeetling Mills Derry FRONT

The Weaving Factory, Beetling Mills, Finishing Works and Warehouse. Founded in 1740 to process linens by harnessing the water of the Claudy River.

Seems to have been an official card printed for the company by The Press Gang, Norwich.

Clarks Ireland Ltd., Dundalk, Women’s Shoe Factory

Unknown publisher.

The Convent Woollen Mills, Foxford

Foxford on the River Moy has long been a place synonymous with Irish Woollen production and happily is still going strong today. Card published by Valentines. More here.


Flour Milling at Ballisodare

Ballisodare Mills by S M Gibson Dublin pu 1909

Ballisodare, Co.Sligo was once a hive of industry and the mills which straddled the Owenmore River were sufficiently important as to have their own rail connection to the Dublin/Sligo railway. Latterly owned by Odlums, the mills finally closed down in 1989 and were demolished during the so-called “Celtic Tiger” era to make way for a housing development. This card was published by S.M.Gibson & Co., James Street, Dublin and posted in 1909.


Augher Creamery, Co.Tyrone

The Creamery Augher Real Photo NO publisher

Rural Ireland never had much in the way of industry in the early 20th century and the local creamery, like the one above, would have been one of the few sources of employment for those not working directly on the land.


Irish Tanners, Portlaw, Co.Waterford

In the early 20th century, outside of Dublin, Belfast and Cork, there was little industrialisation and what there was tended to be based on agricultural products. Irish Tanners Ltd., in Portlaw was a good example of this. The factory here opened in 1935 on the site of an earlier cotton mill. However the decline in demand for shoe leather once synthetic soles became the trend saw the factory close in 1985.

Brusna Distillery, Kilbeggan, Co.Westmeath

An early card with undivided back.


St.John’s Mill, Enniscorthy, Co.Wexford

Davis Mills Enniscorthy

Known locally as Davis’s Mill the extensive premises closed in 2004 and was largely demolished to make way for upmarket housing (which never materialised) the remains of the mills can still be seen just outside Enniscorthy on the New Ross Road. In their heyday, the mills even boasted a short branch line off the Dublin/Rosslare railway.


Kynoch’s Explosive Works, Arklow

Cordite Works Arklow

Arklow’s chemical industry played an important role in the British war effort during World War .I. The short-lived Kynoch’s Explosive Works was an important, if controversial, employer in the town for a quarter of a century (1895 -1919). Wracked by industrial relations problems, political interference and a number of significant workplace accidents – explosions – its fate was sealed by the consolidation of production to the UK mainland in the closing stages of the war. An in-depth article about Kynochs may be found here.

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