• Colonel C.P. Dawson, id-ed by Bob Montgomery 2012
  • Anna Selina Fox, mother of Violet Martin?
  • If this was taken on the same day as the other photo likely showing V. Martin, than Dawson not only changed his hat, but he also switched out this part of the machine. - Piedmont Fossil

What an amazing contraption!

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At least one member of the Martin family at Ross House, Co. Galway posing in a wonderful motor car, that was housed in the stables when not in use.

It has been suggested that the lady may be the novelist Violet Martin (of Somerville & Ross, and The Irish R.M. fame), but Violet was born in 1862 so would have been relatively young when this photo was taken. What do you think? Maybe it's just the veil that seems to be ageing her... Personally, I think the woman in this photo probably taken on the same day is far more likely to be Violet Martin.

pamela_weaver suggests below that "...given the clothing and the rather elderly appearance - I'd suggest it's Martin's mother, Anna Selina Fox (1827-1906). Wrote my PhD thesis on them a long time ago, it's nice to see them again."

Bob Montgomery 2012 has identified the gentleman for us as Colonel C.P. Dawson. This is an entry from the 1907 Motorist's Year Book:
"DAWSON, Colonel C. P., Ross, County Galway. Cars: Leon Bollée, Clément, Panhard, Wolseley. Hobby: Mechanics. Introduced the first car into Connemara in 1897. Clubs: Naval and Military, Automobile Club of Great Britain and Ireland."

Received great information about the "contraption" - either a Turrell-Bollée Voiturette or a Coventry Motette! See below for some painstaking and forensic argument! Special thanks to Gerry Ward, els dekempe and Bob Montgomery 2012.

Date: Circa 1899

NLI Ref.: ALB186

nilacop, patembois, and 257 other people added this photo to their favorites.

View 20 more comments

  1. ClickKen04 21 months ago | reply

    Looks like he put air in the tyre between this shot and the one on Bob's page!

  2. TJ.Photography 21 months ago | reply

    hehe imagine having a car accident in this?

  3. Frizztext 20 months ago | reply

    thank you for sending your photo to my group BLOG IT!
    So I could feature the picture in my daily blog at
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    I hope that will support YOUR work too ...

  4. Peace Faith Love 18 months ago | reply

    In-Law seat ! sans seatbelt of course.

  5. pamela_weaver 15 months ago | reply

    I'd say that's almost certainly Violet Martin Ross, the novelist in Bob's photo (www.flickr.com/photos/75421485@N08/6928619249/in/photostream).

    She was born in 1862, not 1865. I don't think that it's her in the one above - it's possibly Edith Somerville, her writing partner, but given the clothing and the rather elderly appearance - I'd suggest it's Martin's mother, Anna Selina Fox (1827-1906). Wrote my PhD thesis on them a long time ago, it's nice to see them again.

  6. National Library of Ireland on The Commons 15 months ago | reply

    Hastily changed 1865 to 1862, thanks! Have added your Anna Selina Fox suggestion into the description under the photo... Perfectly willing to be persuaded!

  7. swordscookie 15 months ago | reply

    Especially by someone who wrote her PhD thesis on the subject, lol.

  8. excellentzebu1050 14 months ago | reply

    Brilliant
    my Compliments

  9. Howard33 10 months ago | reply

    This gives a whole new meaning to the expression, "Back seat driver."

  10. Robinson_Luzo 6 months ago | reply

    This particular bike was heavily advertised in the 1903 Motor News in particular, could it be 1903?

  11. ** RCB ** 2 months ago | reply

    Mother-in-law is crumple zone: smart!

  12. Lisa Lovingtree 3 weeks ago | reply

    Killer-cool vehicle (for want of a better term...is it a tricked out motorcycle, or a very early car?) As to your question about the age of the lady, I think it could be her. Women's updo hairstyles of the time and the hats often made them appear older than their years, I think. Women just looked more matronly back in the day, due to the clothing and hair styles. Fantastic shot, thanks for sharing it!

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