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George William Porter The story of a family of enamellers

created by janes


George William Porter was born of Scottish parents, Thomas W. Porter and Mary A. Porter. In 1901 the family was living in Falkirk, mother, father and children, Charlotte F. Porter, George W. Porter, Gertrude E. Porter, John Porter, Mary E. Porter and Richard Porter. Thomas William Porter was a foreman enameller, presumably with the Falkirk Iron Company. Thomas William was born around 1863 and Mary around 1864.

We know therefore that Thomas William was involved in the enamelling trade and that he also painted. There are examples of two of his trays, one signed and the other not so, but both clearly done by the same man. There is also a painting which is not at all like the birds on the tray. In this case it is of a girl and boy holding hands, walking up a garden path, with the caption on the back ‘the old, old, story.’ This painting is signed William Porter but this is George William Porter who had started to sign his paintings simply William and dropped the Thomas.

George followed his father into the trade but was a chemist so his interest professionally was in that direction and he painted for a hobby. Nonetheless he was of a certain skill level, even winning a painting competition in America in 1935 but he was more of a craftsman than his father who had an excellent artistic touch. George William moved south to Wolverhampton when the Falkirk Company was in decline and worked initially for Revo Electric Company in Tipton and then became Manager and Chief chemist at English Vitreous Enamels in Bilston. It is very interesting to see the differences in the work of the father and the son, George was more concerned with colour and the father with the design.

Then there was Richard Porter who moved from Falkirk as well and he, too, had an artistic talent and worked (it is believed) in enamelling, on the design side but we have no record of his work, only photographs of the man.

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