Saturday’s Irish Times carried a four-page facsimile of the first-ever Irish Times of 29 March 1859. It’s an extraordinary document, if you can get hold of it, though not the easiest to read – people clearly had good eyesight back then.
The first page is all ads, though not an image among them. And the first ad is for ‘The Art Union of Ireland’. It goes on:
Established under the auspices of the Committee of the Irish Institution, in 1858, for the promotion of the Fine Arts and the Improvement of Taste in Ireland. Sanctioned by the Committee of Privy Council for Trade, according to Act of Parliament, 9 & 10 Vict, cap. 48.
Subscription Lists close in April.
MANAGING COMMITTEE FOR 1858-9.
The Earl of CHRLEMONT, President of the Irish Institution.
The Earl of MEATH.
The Viscount MASSEREENE and FERRARD.
The Viscount POWERSCOURT.
The Lord Talbot DE MALAHIDE
The Right Hon. MAZIERE BRADY
and then it goes on to list a lot of MPs, Esqs, QCs, DLs, RHAs, and other worthies.
The worthies themselves failed to catch on with the general populace. I wonder, though, how they got on with the ‘improvement of taste’ thing?