163. George Washington Bacon & Co. - Tourists' Handbook 1885


Although G W Bacon published a large number of county maps, the majority were transfers taken from plates that he had bought up from auctions rather than maps that he had specially engraved. However, in c.1885 a small pocket tourist guide to England and Wales appeared which included sectional maps of the country. Although the maps were not intended to be county maps, Devon is, in fact on one sheet with a small part of Cornwall and slightly larger areas of Somerset and Dorset.

The Handbook Of England And Wales (cover title) was a complete set of county descriptions averaging 10 pages to a county, with each county section being paginated separately. The Preface is signed by G W Bacon and the text was probably written by him. The book was printed by C F Hodgson & Son, Gough Square, Fleet Street. At the back of the handbook there is a complete map of England and Wales in sections.

The text has two references to 1884 and the railway network (based on sheet 11) of state 1, below, is consistent with a date between 1883, when the railway reached Ashton (1882) and the Princetown line was taken over by the GWR and reopened (1883), and 1885 when the Exeter route to Tiverton was commenced.

Size: 145 mm x 170 mm.                                                                                                                                                                       No scale.

Sh.11 (EaOS) Adjoining 7, 10, 12 Sheet in margins. No imprint or signature. Railways to Holsworthy (with projected extension southwest into Cornwall), Ashton (with projection to just west of Crediton) and Princetown. Devon was included on sheet 11 (of 13) and covers the area from Polperro to Langton Herring and Bude to Shepton Mallet.

1. 1885     Tourists' Guide And Handbook To England And Wales  
    London. G W Bacon & Co. (1885). KB1, EB, [LRL].
2. 1886     Railways added: Launceston to Halwill (1885) and Exeter to Tiverton and Bampton (completed in two stages in 1885 and 1886). Also Ashton extension which is erroneous: the line was connected to Exeterin the early 20th century. Additions, e.g. Brean in Barnstaple Bay and Greenaley Point near Minehead; Prawle Point and Sherborne across border; LYME BAY named.  
    Tourists' Guide And Handbook To England And Wales   
    London. G W Bacon & Co. (1886). KB.
3. 1889 Addition of wash colour. Railway additions.    
    The Pocket Atlas Of England And Wales   
    London. G W Bacon & Co. (1889). [P].
4. 1898 The map of England and Wales has been differently split up. The sectional map of Devon now includes some of south Wales and finishes at Teignmouth so Devon subsequently appears on sheets 2 and 3 with a great deal of overlap. Addition of printed colour. Railway additions include L&SWR Tavistock-Plymouth, Kingsbridge, Launceston to Wadebridge. Main Cycling Routes have been added and are coloured red with note to same below map (EeOS). Numerous place names added around coastal areas. Map now has two line border with letters of alphabet (upper case north-south, lower case east-west) for index. Scale bar (AeOS). Each map is 135 x 170 mm. Numbers in circles, all red, denote neighbouring sheets.  
    Sheet 2: Sheet number 2 (EaOS). From Lizard to Cullompton with Land’s End in extra inset.  
    Sheet 3: Sheet number 3 (EaOS). From Launceston to Bristol and Dorchester, small part of south Walescoast. Lyme Bay named.  
    Bacon's Cycling and Touring Pocket Atlas Of The British Isles   
    London. G W Bacon & Co., Ltd. 1898. KB, [C, DW].

[1] This was available either with black and white maps or with printed colour: both versions in collection of author.