J. McDOWELL19, Mary Street, later, 3, Upper O'Connell Street, Dublin (the 'Happy Ring House')
J. McDowell - Dublin - 1940
Established in 1870 at Mary Street by John McDowell and continued by William McDowell, who was John's younger brother.
The business relocated to 3, Sackville (later renamed O'Connell) Street by 1901.
The business was completely destroyed and looted during the 1916 Easter uprising and rebuilt in 1917.
William McDowell was shot in the leg during the uprising and his porter shot dead.
From 1935 to 1976 the business was in the hands of John J. (Jack) McDowell, who's horse 'Caughoo' ( a 100/1 outsider ridden by Eddie Dempsey and trained by Herbert McDowell, who was Jack's brother. They named him 'Caughoo' after their father's estate in Co. Cavan ), won the Aintree Grand National in 1947.
J. McDowell is still in business today and still in the hands of the same family. It is currently being run by Peter and John McDowell.J. McDowell, Practical Watchmaker and Jeweller, 19, Mary Street, opposite Todd, Burns, & Co.– This is one of the most attractive shops In Mary Street. The establishment has a fine exterior, with a frontage of twenty five feet, and the inside, measuring twenty-five by forty-five, is very capacious and so affords Mr. McDowell the opportunity of having his manufactory beside his salerooms, which of course represenls a saving of much time. The number of hands engaged by Mr. McDowell in the manufacture of his goods, and in the repairing of injured or broken watches, clocks, chains, etc., is half-a-dozen, and they turn out their work in a most creditable manner. The exhibition of goods in the windows and in the cases fixed around ihe inside walls, shows a very high order of workmanship. Amongst the clocks, one specially notices a number of beautifully designed and excellently finished marble and drawing-room ones resting under glass shades on embossed stands, whilst in other parts of the shop are displayed hundreds of others, varying in size from the large old-fashioned hall clocks down to the smallest and newest alarm clocks. Of watches, gold and silver, large and small, an extensive slock is always on hand, and the rings of every description and for every purpose seem indeed innumerable, while the prices attached to them are as low as can be obtained in any house in the city. A speciality is made of wedding and guard rings, a large selection sold by weight. The selection of brooches, earrings, studs, snuff-boxes, perfume and card cases, gold, silver, and hair chains, is also very fine. The house is now ten years established, and for the last five years has made a speciality of Connemara marble. This beautiiul stone is skilfully worked by Mr. McDowell into all kinds of ornaments, and his show of brooches, studs, etc., set with this marble is particularly beautiful, varied, and interesting. The shop is very neat and comfortable, and customers will receive the greatest attention both from Mr. McDowell and from his assistants.
Source: Industries of Dublin
The 1901 Irish Census records John McDowell as a 40 year-old Co. Cavan born Jeweller. He is married to 50 year-old, Dublin born, Harriet. The couple reside at 3, Upper Sackville Street, which is described in the census as a shop/dwelling. Their religion was recorded as Irish Church. John's brother, William, 30 years-old and also Co. Cavan born, also resides at the same address and is unmarried.
The 1911 Irish Census records John McDowell as a 58 year-old retired Jeweller. Harriet is now recorded as aged 65 years. They now reside at 79, Burrow South, Howth, Dublin, which is described in the census as a private dwelling. Also in residence are John's sister, Lizzie Cullam, who is aged 40 years, and her two children, Robert 9, and Elma 7 years of age, both of whom were born in America. John and Harriet are recorded as being married for twenty-nine years and have never had any children.
The 1911 Irish Census records William McDowell as a 49 year-old Jeweller. He is now married, to 25 year-old, Co. Meath born, Caroline. They reside at the Sackville Street premises. They have been married for five years and have two children but they do not appear to have been at home at the time of the census.
This business should not be confused with that of McDowell Brothers (see above post), who made a point of noting in their advertisements that they were not connected with any firm of the same name.