Census records (1901 and 1911)
Many of the people living in the areas around Jacob’s were employed in the biscuit factory. The factory was a huge employer, with a workforce of 1059 men and 2085 women in 1913. This census return (C1911 Dublin 71/7/16) for the Regan family in Bishop Street lists Kathleen Regan, aged 17, as a “factory giral.” The return for the Smyth family of Aungier Street (C1901 Dublin 73/2/55) lists Catherine Smyth, widow, aged 56, and her daughter, Ann Jane, aged 30, as factory supervisors. The return for the Johnston family, also of Aungier Street (C1901 Dublin 73/2/50) lists Elizabeth Johnston, aged 36, as a “biscuit factory woman”, and her daughter, Katie, aged 18, as a factory girl.
One of the printers of the 1916 proclamation was Michael Molloy (see WS 716), who later spent many years working for Independent Newspapers. This is a half-copy of the Proclamation, taken by the Dublin Metropolitan Police from the printing presses in Liberty Hall, and accompanied by a letter from the DMP to the Chief Secretary’s Office, stating that no full copy of the Proclamation could be found. The then Director of the National Library had presciently advised that a copy should be deposited with him for posterity. The National Library has since acquired full copies of the document.
Very little damage was done to Jacob’s by the occupying forces and the building was not shelled by troops because it was surrounded by dense housing. This letter, dated 6 May, from the Managing Director of Jacob’s to the Chief Secretary’s Office, states that they have resumed business, and that the factory “is practically uninjured after the occupation by the rebels”. Care was taken by the rebels to disclose the location of several bombs which they were leaving behind so that they could be disabled.
Department of the Taoiseach file S15838
This file details efforts by sisters Mary and Anne Reynolds, whose brother George was killed at Clanwilliam House during the 1916 Rising, and who themselves supplied clothing to the Jacob’s garrison, to get some compensation during the 1940s. Anne Reynolds was employed as a Temporary Clerical Assistant in the Department of Social Welfare, and her salary was all the two sisters had to depend on for sustenance. The best that could be done for them was to keep extending her employment until she was finally let go in 1947 (just before Christmas) at the age of 72.
Business Records Survey DUB 56
An example from 1900 of the elaborate Jacob’s letterhead, with a panoramic view of the building and large numbers of vehicles in the streets. We do not know whether Jacob’s Adelaide Hopkins was the person who departed from the Dartry Dye Works “without a moment’s notice.”
Letter from Thomas Grehan, employed by the Evening Herald, to a friend, Mr. Curtin, enclosing a fragment of the “Sinn Féin flag that floated over Jacob’s Biscuit Factory during the Rebellion of Easter Week last year.” He seems to have cut the flag up and distributed its parts to various favoured individuals. November 1917.