March 20, 1918

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    Eamon de Valera, M.P. for East Clare at the time this portrait was taken at A.H. Poole Photographic Studio in Waterford. Wonder if he was in Waterford to raise support, as there must have been a political vacuum since John Redmond of the Irish Parliamentary Party had died on 6 March 1918...

    Initially thought that de Valera was wearing a lorgnette, but most commenters below have plumped for Pince-nez...

    Date: Wednesday, 20 March 1918

    NLI Ref.: P_WP_2753

    swordscookie, Michiel2005, brad 28, and 19 other people added this photo to their favorites.

    1. swordscookie 36 months ago | reply

      The Long Fellow himself complete with Fáinne and book of advanced mathematics puzzles. He was so young looking then before he became either adored or reviled, depending on your perspective. Sorry Carol, had begun commenting before I spotted your question - the answer is, he is wearing neither as I understand it! A lorgnette was spectacles on a stick or handle but what he is wearing appears to be "pince nez" or nose pinchers!

    2. Niall McAuley 36 months ago | reply

      Those glasses do have a little stick or handle on the right (our left).

    3. swordscookie 36 months ago | reply

      That's true, but a lorgnette was normally presented to the eye as required whereas with Dev they were required equipment to enable him to see at any distance. Pince Nez were more his style and the little handle saved one from muddying the waters so to speak!

    4. ClickKen04 36 months ago | reply

      Any evidence on where the 'Big Fella' was at the same time Carol?
      I know there were very few photos of Collins, so was just curious if there was anything comparitive in the archives by any chance?
      Tks, K.

    5. blackpoolbeach 36 months ago | reply
      He is holding the EiPad of its day, complete with a graphite-cored stylus (pencil).

    6. thiskidgotmoxie 36 months ago | reply

      Pince-nez with a chain, perhaps? Like this one:

      Oops, blackpoolbeach beat me to it.

    7. Peter Denton 36 months ago | reply

      I wonder what the badge was - pinned a couple of milimetres from the buttonhole?

    8. Seuss. 36 months ago | reply

      Many pince-nez (pince-nez is both singular and plural) of the day came with a ribbon or small chain, almost always attached to the right hand side. When not in use the pince-nez would dangle from around the neck, from a brooch, from a button hole, or, in this case from an ear hook. detail:

    9. swordscookie 36 months ago | reply

      Peter that is a Fainne (Ring) in the Gaelic, it is the symbol of an Irish speaker. In latter years Dev wore his covered in red thread so that other speakers would not feel obliged to speak in the native language to him when non-speakers were present.

    10. Peter Denton 36 months ago | reply

      Thanks so much for such an interesting, fascinating explanation.

    11. National Library of Ireland on The Commons 36 months ago | reply

      Sorry, Ken, haven't turned up any 1918 photos of Michael Collins in our online catalogue, but that's not to say there aren't any in our vast collections...

    12. National Library of Ireland on The Commons 36 months ago | reply

      I second that, Peter. Thanks , I had never heard of the "red thread"! Was that common practice for Fáinne wearers, do you know, or a de Valera idiosyncrasy??

    13. pince_nez2008 36 months ago | reply

      Pince-nez type eyeglasses were the most popular eyewear in the USA, Canada and much of Europe during the period 1885 to 1920. A pince-nez had no arms or temples and clipped on the bridge of the nose. It was held in place by either spring powered nose guard grips in the fingerpiece type or a spring bridge with nose guard grips in the hoopspring or C bridge type. Properly fitted, a pince-nez remained securely attached to the bridge of the nose at all times and was very comfortable even during full time wear. Eyeglasses (pince-nez) and spectacles (glasses with temples) : were unisex then. The terms eyeglasses and spectacles had distinct meanings. The rimless type was the most popular and stylish for all ages. For soldiers,it was great for wear under a gas mask or goggles and army officials stated the a pince-nez was the ideal eyewear.

    14. pince_nez2008 35 months ago | reply

      A pince-nez was just as often worn without a chain, cord, earloop or
      other "safety devices"..see my other pince-nez photos.

      Great photo portrait of Eamon de Valera in 1918 age 36 wearing
      a rimless fingerpiece pince-nez which was clipped on the bridge of the nose using thumb and index finger on the tiny lever tabs or fingerpieces. When released the spring powered nose guard grips grabbed the sides of the nose bridge to keep the pince-nez in place with both comfort and security even during full time wear.

      De Valera was the most famous Irish political figure of
      the 20th century: extremely controversial, he was a founder of the Irish Republic. Interesting is the fact that he was born in Brooklyn to a Hispanic (Cuban?) father + Irish mother. De Valera wore glasses since childhood..much of time hoopspring pince-nez, often without safety devices but often wore saddle bridge spectacles .. he was premier or prime minister several times over a 50+ year period almost up to his death at age 92 in 1974.

    15. Siulach 35 months ago | reply

      If you look at his portrait in the Dáil, his fáinne is red.

    16. swordscookie 35 months ago | reply

      Sorry Carol, I missed your question in all the excitement and having the odd bit of work to do as well. It was a personal thing for Dev, he adopted the practice as Taoiseach as he did not want to offend any visitors and so on. As says in his portrait his fáinne is red and that is the reason why.

    17. ofarrl 35 months ago | reply

      This is one I aquired a few years ago of De Valera in Greenfield, MA, USA, 1919
      Eamon De Valera

    18. ofarrl 35 months ago | reply

      There is some footage in this Pathe News reel of De Valera campaigning in Waterford. Some of it is filmed outside Strangmans Brewery. William Redmond is also shown in some scenes at the Courthouse.

    19. National Library of Ireland on The Commons 35 months ago | reply

      That film is fantastic, I'd encourage you all to watch it! Thanks . No concept of soppy modern notions of personal space for politicians, or anyone else. And now we know what happened afterwards in our crowded, behatted photos - everyone took off their hats/caps and waved them like mad. Plus, did you spot the back of the carriage with the Vote White sign?? Is that our Dr Vincent White, do you think?

    20. luck52 10 months ago | reply

      He looks a lot like Bill Gates, likely to be his great-grandfather

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