Cork City Libraries hold copies of seventeen editions of the Goad plans for Cork city, from 1897 to 1961. These are held in five bindings in our Local Studies and Learning Department. The ‘key plan’ on the first sheet of each edition provides a graphic outline of areas represented in more detail on maps 2-16 of each edition. Under the key plan (in PDF form in these webpages), a selective index of streets, buildings, and firms is included. The scale of the detailed plans is one inch to forty feet (1:480) on the original paper copies. Fire insurance plans were first drawn up in the late eighteenth century to provide risk information to fire insurance underwriters.
Charles Edward Goad, born in Surrey in 1848, moved to Canada in 1869, where he became a renowned cartographer and railway engineer. The firm of Charles E. Goad was established in Montreal in 1875 and became the leading producer of fire insurance plans for 1,300 places in Canada, before he returned to Britain in 1885 to produce insurance plans for the commercial sections of more than 100 towns in Britain and Ireland, along with surveying places in other countries. Fire insurance companies had an interest in preventing fires to insured properties, and firefighters (often private) needed detailed information regarding access to water, routes to building, room arrangements, locations of doors & windows, thickness of walls, information on construction materials, type of roof, locations of combustible materials, water-works system, etc. Charles Goad died in Toronto in 1910. Goad insurance plans now provide an excellent information source for historians, geographers, architects, environmentalists and genealogists.
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