This year we are not only celebrating Christmas but also two hundred years since the foundation stone of the GPO was laid in 1814. There will be free entry to the An Post Museum from the 8th December till Christmas Eve so do come and take a look at our exhibition, Letters, Lives & Liberty, and if you drop in at lunch-time, you’ll also be able to join in with the traditional carol singing in the Public Office.
Have a very Happy Christmas.
An Post Museum and the GPO are closed Sundays and Bank Holidays.
Keep an eye on this page and our social media channels to keep up to date with details for events at the An Post Museum – GPO Dublin.
Infectious disease is something very much in the news at present and serves as a reminder of another ailment that was very much feared in Ireland and continues to be so in many parts of the world. Consumption, an older word for tuberculosis, spread rapidly in areas of overcrowding and poverty and was the cause of death for many thousands of people here. The establishment of national sanatoria, a better understanding of the disease and a more caring attitude towards those who suffered from it, in addition of course to antibiotic drugs, brought great improvements but vigilance remains necessary. The Post Office, as a place where people met and transacted business, provided a space where the Postmaster General could bring the disease to the attention of people and point out one very common form of transmitting it.
This is one of the items, drawn from the An Post Museum & Archive, which is currently on display in The GPO – 200 Years exhibition in the Irish Architectural Archive in Merrion Square Dublin. The title of a popular Victorian song, it reflects the growing importance of the Post Office in society and the particular role of the postman as the face of a Government organisation that touched the lives of ordinary people in so many different ways – through mail, telegraphs, savings and so forth. The attractive red coat was soon replaced with a more serviceable blue. Note too the absence of a door letter slot for – it took the GPO many years to persuade people to cut a slot in their fine oak doors!
Inspector of Lunatics – Government Buildings 1923
One of the charms of working with archives is the fun of turning up something quirky or amusing from time to time. This letter recently came to light in our archives section and demonstrates the ongoing importance of putting the right address on a letter. Postcodes of whatever ilk are likely to be much less fun than traditional addresses!
Letter from 1923