Made in Devonport, the catalogue described below, was published on 19 May 2009.
First publication is in monthly serial format, comprising all content within the Artifacts section of this web site. Liz Cook, May 2009. All rights reserved.

Issue One, May 2009. Introduction

Made in Devonport


Introducing you to my database of Devonport artifacts - I'm hoping this material will be a useful and interesting surprise to many people, as no other Devonport-dedicated artifact catalogue exists. By Artifact I mean items made in, of, or for, Devonport. This could include items you might display on a shelf, in a frame or in a cabinet. It includes items made by industry, by craftsmen, by Devonport corporation and by individuals - even boats and ships made in the dockyard. The variety of Devonport artifacts is extensive, covering collectors items, antiques, vintage items and contemporary artifacts.

So extensive is the range of items and so numerous are the categories they fall into, that I decided to convert my database into a catalogue. Although serialised as a monthly magazine on this website it will in due course be compiled onto disk. It's probably best as a digital catalogue, since in printed book form it would be over 1000 pages. I've called the catalogue Made in Devonport.

Whilst several chapters from the catalogue will be exhibited on this web site, not all makers/creators that fall within each category will appear here, there's just too many, hence the CD. If any school in Devonport, indeed any Plymouth school, would like a free copy of the disc, please make contact with me. Perhaps 'Made in Devonport' will contribute to your local history lessons; the items bring past centuries in Devonport to life, and some have their stories to tell. The catalogue is an historical resource that is not available anywhere else.

Catalogue Contents

The objects described in the catalogue paint a fascinating picture of both social and commercial life in Devonport - mostly in the fantastic 19th century that Devonport enjoyed, our heydays, but all centuries are included. The following details (where known) are entered for each item...
  • Title or object name
  • Date made
  • Creator
  • Description
  • Data (statistics, measurements, etc, as far as known)
  • Images
  • Value (typically this is the latest auction price reached)
  • miscellaneous (whatever additional information I have identified e.g social details about the creator, or old directory references, etc)

Catalogue Categories

Here is a list of the categories in the catalogue. Content will be uploaded here as a monthly serial in no particular order; this page is Issue One.

  • Introduction - Issue 1: May 2009
  • Advertisements - Issue 3: August 2009
  • Art
  • Banknotes
  • Boats/Vessels
  • Books/Authors
  • Breweriana
  • Cabinet/Furniture makers
  • Chemists
  • Clockmakers & Jewellers
  • Devonport Borough Police
  • Devonport Corporation
  • Devonport Education
  • Devonport Royal Dockyard
  • Ephemera
  • Grocers
  • Manufacturers
  • Maps
  • Masonic
  • Medals/coins/trophies/tokens
  • Models
  • Music/Theatre
  • Nautical/Naval
  • optical / scientific / precision instruments
  • Opticians
  • Outfitters
  • People
  • Photos
  • Postcards - Issue 4: November 2009
  • Postal / Philately
  • Pottery / Porcelain
  • Publishers
  • Royalty related
  • Silversmiths - Issue 2: July 2009
  • Sports
  • Swordsmiths
  • Tools
  • Toys
  • Travel/Transport

'Made in Devonport', the CD

This project has been most interesting; I've been researching and gathering the details over the last eight years, and it constantly intrigues me. Some objects on my database are one-off, such as the showman's living wagon made by George Hurley of Richmond Walk. He made it especially for Thomas Whitelegg Jnr, of the famous Fairground family. George Hurley did make other living-vans but I've never come across any, so the one I have recorded stands alone on my database. Other objects are surprisingly numerous, such as the quality sextants made by Cox and Coombes of Fore Street. These are very popular with collectors and I have sufficient records of them to make a large catalogue on their own (indeed, should sufficient people request a separate publication for Cox & Coombes I will do so).

The project is ongoing, as new objects appear regularly, so the database will continue to be updated for some time yet. Are you surprised at the range of categories? The commercial life that once existed here in Devonport was remarkable. Can't you just imagine the bustle in Fore Street then? The 19th century was our greatest period - several items made in Devonport then are now collectors items, and fetch high prices at quality auction houses. Yes, I'm proud to say, Devonport had her share of craftsmen, artists, thinkers, writers, poets, clockmakers, swordsmiths.... they lived and worked here.... and they form a significant part of Devonport's history.

Update at November 2009: The CD is turning out to be huge, hence taking an absolute age to compile - the size is such that I need to present it on something much bigger than originally planned, one disc is nowhere near large enough. Whichever the finished version I decide upon it is too much work for completion during 2009, and although I've made good inroads into it, it's now more realistic to offer 2012 as a finish date (I'm a slow worker at the best of times). In the meantime, if anyone has any queries, or is researching a particular Devonport artifact, I'd be pleased to help as I'm sure to have some info on it, my archive is extremely large. Regards, Liz

Issues of Made in Devonport published to date

  • Issue One ... Introduction.
  • Issue Two ... Silversmiths.
  • Issue Three ... Advertisements.
  • Issue Four ... Postcards. (updated October 2013 - additional postcards added)