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1845-1865: The Museum of Irish Industry

Explore the brief history of this forerunner to the National Museum of Ireland, founded to develop Irish industry, and related objects to see at Out of Storage.

Although established in 1845 as the Museum of Economic Geology, the first director of that museum, Sir Robert Kane, quickly changed its rationale to become the Museum of Irish Industry and Government School of Science.

Opposition and abolition

Allied to a belief in the need for industrial education, so that Ireland’s natural resources could be exploited correctly and the living standard of the people improved, the museum had a lecture programme as well as exhibitions.

However, there was opposition to this enlightened approach. As a result, the museum was abolished about 1865 and the collections were transferred to the Royal Dublin Society.

What artefacts you can see from this period at Out of Storage

On display in Out of Storage from that museum’s collection is a Parian porcelain bust of William Dargan, the railway contractor who funded the Dublin International Exhibition of 1853.

It was made at Worcester when two Dubliners, W.H. Kerr and R.W. Binns, owned that pottery, and when Irish ceramic clays were tested with the ambition that manufacturing potteries could be established in Ireland.

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