12 December-Peter Fenelon Collier of Co Carlow

Peter Fenelon Collier who was a native of Co Carlow, Ireland was the founder of the publishing company P.F Collier & Son in the United States of America. He emigrated to the United States with his family in 1866 when he was 17 years old. His company, which published books, magazines and encyclopediae, became one of the most successful in its time in the United States.

Peter Fenelon Collier was born in Myshall Co Carlow in 1849. He received his initial education in Carlow. Following arrival in America the Collier family settled in Dayton Ohio. Peter attended St Mary’s Roman Catholic Seminary in Cincinnati for four years with the intention of becoming a priest. He left the seminary in 1880 and began working as a salesman for the school book publisher Sadler and Company. Collier relocated to New York in 1874 and with the $300 he had saved established his own publishing company.

At first Collier’s company printed books for the Roman Catholic market. These included a biography of Pope Pius IX which he published in 1874. His firm began the practice of selling books on the basis that customers could purchase them by paying in monthly instalments. He went on to publish several editions of the Bible and books such as Chamber’s Encyclopedia and Collier’s Encyclopedia of Social and Commercial Information. His company became very successful achieving huge sales in The US and Canada. He also founded a magazine called Colliers Weekly which became one of the largest selling magazines in the United States. Mark Twain (Samuel Langhorne Clemens) was one of his employees and Colliers published some of Twain’s books.

By the early 1900’s book sales at P.F Collier & Son had exceeded 52 million and the company was continuing to thrive. Peter Collier enjoyed horse riding and hunting and was a member of several riding clubs. He was conferred with an honorary Doctor of Laws Degree in 1908 from Seton Hall University, New Jersey, the oldest diocesan university in the United States. On April 23rd 1909 he died suddenly of a stroke at the age of 59.

Peter Fenelon Collier, founder of publishers P.F Collier & Son in the US, was born in Myshall Co Carlow, Ireland in the year 1849 On This Day.

Collier’s illustrated weekly. Woman’s number, New York, November 15th, 1902. by Boston Public Library on 2013-09-03 13:52:07

Image from page 291 of “Collier’s new encyclopedia : a loose-leaf and self-revising reference work … with 515 illustrations and ninety-six maps” (1921) by Internet Archive Book Images on 1921-01-01 00:00:00 

Myshall photo

Church of Ireland Adelaide Memorial Church of Christ the Redeemer in Myshall Co Carlow Ireland is a miniature of Salisbury Cathedral

A Mini Salzburg Cathedral by IrishFireside on 2007-06-19 15:24:59

Photo by IrishFireside

30 October-NUIG (University College Galway)

The National University of Ireland Galway (NUIG) is located on the banks of the river Corrib close to Galway City centre, Ireland. Originally called Queen’s College Galway it was known as University College Galway from 1908 to 1997. It has as its motto, Deo Favente

NUIG is located on an extensive campus, central to which is the oldest building, The Quadrangle (The Quad). In 2017 it was ranked 249th in the World University Rankings. The University caters for over 17,000 students in its five constituent colleges (Arts, Law and Business, Engineering, Medicine, Science).

Queens College Galway (now National University of Ireland Galway), with an enrolment of 63 students (all male), opened its doors for the first time in the year 1849 On This Day.





07 October-Edgar Allan Poe

Edgar Allan Poe was a writer, poet and literary critic who was a native of the United States of America. He is most famous for his short stories and poems of mystery and horror. Writings by Poe, including ‘The Tell-Tale Heart’ and ‘The Raven’ are regarded as literary classics.

Edgar Allan Poe was born in Boston on January 19th 1809. When he was a year old his mother died and his father abandoned the family. Poe was raised by a family in Virginia, where he attended University before enlisting the American army. During his time in the army his first book, Tamerlane and Other Poems, was published.

In 1831 Poe left the army to become a full-time writer. He worked as a literary critic for various journals in Baltimore, Philadelphia, and New York City. In 1839 he published ‘Tales of the Grotesque and Arabesque’. However the publication of his poem, ‘The Raven’ in 1845 made Poe a household name. His stories and poems continue to be popular in America and around the world.

Edgar Allan Poe, writer, poet and literary critic, died aged 40 in Baltimore, Maryland in the year 1849 On This Day.





22 August-First Air Raid

The first air raid in history was carried out by Austria against Venice. The air raid, which occurred in 1849, used up to 200 pilotless balloons carrying bombs. Venice had been under siege but had refused to surrender. The bombs caused little damage but the siege ended two days later.

Venice had been independent for over 1,000 years. It was conquered by Napoleon in 1797 who later ceded it to Austria. In 1848 Venice declared itself a republic. Austria laid siege to Venice the following year. Though the siege caused starvation and hardship the Austrians failed to take the city. However Venice did surrender two days after the air raid.

The first air raid in history took place when Austria launched pilotless balloons carrying bombs against Venice in the year 1849 On This Day.


20 June-James Clarence Mangan

James Clarence Mangan was a poet who was a native of Dublin. He is considered to be one of the greatest poets of the nineteenth century. He is best known for poems such as ‘My Dark Rosaleen’ and ‘Woman of Three Cows’. His gravestone in Glasnevin Cemetery in Dublin proclaims him to be ‘Ireland’s National Poet’.

James Clarence Mangan was born in Fishamble Street Dublin on May 1st 1803. He was educated locally and studied at least three foreign languages including, German, French and Spanish. During his lifetime he worked in various jobs including as a clerk in a law office, with Ordnance Survey of Ireland and in the Library of Trinity College Dublin. His first publications, which were translations from German appeared in 1830. Most of his later works were published in the ‘Nation’ newspaper. He died of cholera in Mercer’s Hospital Dublin in 1849.

James Clarence Mangan author of poems such as ‘Dark Rosaleen’ and ‘Woman of Three Cows’, died of cholera in Mercer’s Hospital, Dublin in the year 1849 On This Day.

Memorial bust of Mangan in St. Stephen’s Green, sculpted by Oliver Sheppard

Image taken from page 6 of ‘James Clarence Mangan; his selected poems