Charles Bianconi was an Italo-Irish entrepreneur, a brilliant salesman and knew how to develop his brand. He is possibly the first person in Irish transport history who tried to brand his business; he engraved his automobiles, when no one else was doing anything like that.
After working as an engraver and print seller in Dublin, in 1806 he set up an engraving and print shop in Carrick-on-Suir, moving to Clonmel in 1815.
Charles Bianconi, sometimes referred to as the man who put Ireland on wheels, is credited with introducing relatively cheap and fast public transport to the country. The first trip on his open-top horse-drawn carriage took passengers from Clonmel to Cahir on 6 July 1815. These were known as ‘Bianconi coaches’, took five to eight hours by boat but only two hours by Bianconi’s carriage. Travel on a ‘Bian’ cost one penny farthing a mile.
Having donated land to the parish of Boherlahan for the construction of a parish church, Bianconi wished to be buried on the Church grounds. He, and his family, are buried in a side chapel, separate from the parish church in Boherlahan, approximately 5 miles from Cashel, Co Tipperary.
Image | A Bianconi mail carriage car, Galway c. 1880 | Credit: National Library of Ireland