Hamilton Long's

In Brief

As Bloom steps out of St. Andrew's church at 10:15, he decides to get some lotion made up for Molly at Sweny's, and then casts his thoughts to another nearby pharmacy: "Hamilton Long's, founded in the year of the flood." This pharmacy had several shops in the Dublin area, but the closest one to Bloom's location on Westland Row, and to the Huguenot cemetery that he thinks is "near there," was at 107 Grafton Street. It is shown in the accompanying photograph.

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Gifford and Slote note that Thom's listed Hamilton, Long, & Co., Ltd. as "state apothecaries, perfumers, and manufacturers of mineral waters." The large signs on the facade of the Grafton Street building described it as a "medical hall and compounding establishment."

No annotators (or critics, as far as I have yet been able to discover) have said a word about "founded in the year of the flood." Unless and until someone pegs the establishment of the company to some year in which Ireland saw terrible flooding, this phrase must be taken as Bloom's little joke about the tendency of pharmaceutical shops to stay put. As he puts it in the preceding sentences of Lotus Eaters, "Chemists rarely move. Their green and gold beaconjars too heavy to stir." Hamilton Long's may not have been around since the landing on Mount Ararat, but they have certainly stayed put, doing business at multiple locations in the Dublin area to the present day.

JH 2018
Hamilton Long's on Grafton Street, in a photograph held in the archives of the National Library of Ireland. The American flag flown next door is interesting. Source: Cyril Pearl, Dublin in Bloomtime.