Ennis Workhouse children get to see "America", 1872

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Ennis Workhouse children get to see "America", 1872

Post by Sduddy » Wed Mar 24, 2021 11:28 am

Clare Journal, Thur 8 Aug 1872:
Ennis Union. A Treat for the Workhouse Children – Going to Edward’s Panorama.
The following handsome letter from Mr Edwards, proprietor of the magnificent panorama at present exhibiting in the Town Hall, Ennis, was read: “Mr W H Edwards presents his compliments to the Chairman and Guardians, and would have great pleasure – with their consent – in admitting (free) the inmates and children to the day exhibition of his panorama, on Friday or Saturday, at half-past two. Town Hall, Ennis.”
Chairman – Of course, we will comply with this, and feel grateful to Mr Edwards for his handsome offer.
Mr Barry – It is very kind on Mr Edward’s part.
Mr Greene moved the following order, which was approved of: “That the children be allowed to visit the panorama in charge of the schoolmaster and matron; and that the board tender their thanks to Mr Edwards for his kindness in affording this gratuitous treat to the children of the house.”
The show got a very good review in the same issue. It must have been a very new experience for the workhouse children:
Clare Journal, Thur 8 Aug 1872:
“Life and Scenes in America.” - During this week, Mr Edward’s panorama, illustrative of life and scenes in America, has been nightly represented at the Town Hall. This is its first appearance in Ennis, and the opportunity of witnessing one of the finest pictorial representations of the grand scenery of the vast New World should not be missed. Without any weary sea journey, Mr Edwards at once lands his audience at New York, with a capital view of its famed Broadway, and the principal surrounding objects of interest; and from thence accompany them through the magnificent scenery of the river Hudson, past the Catskill Mountains, where an admirable view of the hunters “shining” the deer by night is obtained; on to the beautiful Trenton Fall, the resort of all American tourists, away to a pretty sunset view of the City of Rochester, to the three beautiful cascades of the Genesse Falls; through a forest, where are squatted a party of Indians with their squaws around fires, and at last the mighty falls of Niagara are reached. This portion of the entertainment is alone worth a visit. Mr Edwards has evidently devoted much labour and pains on these scenes, and he has succeeded amirably in the difficult task of conveying to the mind on canvas a true idea of the terribly grand Horse Shoe Falls, with their dashing form and boiling surf. The audience are admitted to views from each side, and from above and below, and they also catch a last glimpse of them as they make towards the Canada country by the celebrated “Pass of Lundy’s Lane.” Perhaps this scene, though very liable to be overlooked, is the best of the whole collection. There is some really fine work in it, and the easy, graceful positions of the rough, sturdy emigrants tending their plodding cattle, as they wend their way Far West, bespeak Mr Edwards an artist of no mean order. In the second stage of the journey the audience are taken up the river to Toronto, and from that city across Lake Ontario (showing the lake steamers by night), to Kingston, and hence up the Great St Lawrence, with its tremendous tubular bridge at Montreal. Here again Mr Edwards has succeeded in conveying to the mind a vivid impression of its immense bridge with its massive stone buttresses, each one of which is calculated to resist the pressure of 70,000 tons of broken ice in the “freshes” of the winter season. After leaving the Cones of Montmorenci (by winter), the audience enter upon the third part of their journey, which is devoted to vivid representations of some of the most curious and most famous scenes of the New World, together with emigrant and negro life in many of its phases. There are also some capital views of the principal cities of the vast continent. Besides theis pictorial representation, Mr Edwards, with his interesting and instructive lecture, interspersed and relieved by a number of capital anecdotes, delivered in a dry and humorous manner, is an entertainment in itself. In addition there is engaged a company of vocal artists, comprising Madame Mantz Soprano, Mr F W Coverdale, an American vocalist, and Mr K Wilson, basso and pianist, who lend increased interest to the various scenes by their rendering of a number of appropriate songs in an excellent manner calling forth repeated plaudits. Some idea of the panorama may be formed when it is stated that for two full hours the canvas is constantly moving before the eyes of the audience. The dioramic effects peculiar to this exhibition, and for which the Americans are so justly celebrated, are most admirably managed under the supervision of Mr W E Bensen. There will be an afternoon performance tomorrow and Saturday. Mr Edwards is advertised to open in Galway on Monday.

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