Cases of great Dublingenuity!



I finished reading a quite interesting and enlightening book over the past weekend, entitled Ingenious Dublin: a guide to the city’s marvels, discoveries, and inventions, by author Mary Mulvihill. It catalogues a wide variety of important inventions, innovations, and accomplishments, as well as some off-beat curiosities that have dotted the storied history of this great capital city. The book is also very handy as a tour guide to these places that may not find their way into traditional travel guides. It is definitely an electronic book (published thru Kindle) you will want to read prior to visiting the city (as I am doing) to identify obscure and non-traditional sights to see. Among the innumerable fascinating tidbits contained in this terrific e-book are:

  • Leo the Lion of MGM fame was born at and a resident of Dublin Zoo when he was “discovered” by Hollywood as MGM’s first mascot.
  • The River Liffey was originally nearly one kilometer wide as it passed through the city.
  • The world’s first earthquake experiment took place in the city.
  • The “Drumm” nickel-zinc rechargeable battery invented by James Drumm in 1930 powered trains serving Dublin and surrounding areas in the 1930s and 1940s (see photo below). The Dublin-Bray route was served by one such battery-powered train that could tow an 85 ton load and carry 130 passengers up to 130 kilometers on a single charge! (We need this technology to be used more today!) After World War II, the trains were replaced by diesel locomotives.
Drumm Battery Train -  Source:

Drumm Battery Train – Source:

  • At seven kilometers, Dublin has Europe’s longest seawall.
  • Captain William Bligh (of the HMS Bounty fame) produced the first accurate navigation chart of Dublin Bay.
  • North Bull Island gradually formed after completion of the North Bull Wall – it is now five kilometers long.
  • The atom was first split by Irishman Ernest Walton at Cambridge in 1932.
  • The Irish Architectural Archive opening 1976 on Merrion Square.
  • The Little Museum of Dublin at St. Stephens Green honors the city’s 20th century heritage with a collection of eclectic items.
  • The measurement of a star’s brightness was invented by Irishman George Minchin.
  •  Dublin doctor Francis Rynd invented the hypodermic syringe in 1844
  • The Museum of Vintage Radio is situated in the city near Howth.
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