June 2016: Postman in the 1890s

To celebrate the 500th anniversary of the Royal Mail, PRONI’s June document of the month for May is a photograph of a postman from Strangford, Co. Down known as ‘Old maCartan’ dating from the 1890s.

Old maCartan The photograph is from a collection known as the Eva Chichester papers which capture and document Eva’s travels in the British Isles and Europe from the late-19th century. Eva was a Sunday school teacher who lived in Newcastle, Co. Down. She travelled widely and had a real passion for photography and an eye for everyday life and landscape.

Brett Irwin, PRONI, who selected the document said:

“The quality of some of the photographs in the collection taken by Eva and fellow amateur photographers is stunning. I find this image fascinating as it tells us so much about the life of a postman from the late 1800s. The dirty jacket, ripped trousers’, the weather-beaten face, the hat and the bugle all indicate a tough job outdoors in wind, rain or shine. 

It is fabulous that the image ties in with the 500th anniversary of the establishment of the Royal Mail and demonstrates that this is as every bit essential and valued today as it was many years ago”.

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