Frank Harris was born in 1847 in Arley, Warwickshire to James
Harris and Harriet Careless.
He did his apprenticeship at W T Copeland (Spode) in the 1860s.
He went to and wrote about the Paris Universal Exhibition of 1878.
He was a well educated man who spoke several languages and
often came back from trips abroad wearing the latest fashions.
In the 1901 Census he was living in Bo’ness. He was living at 13
Anne Terrace (Com Str 3rd Flr) and his occupation was Potters
Manager. His son Harry lived at the same address and was a
In later years he was reported to have been working in his sister's
front room and sending work to a factory in Longton, Stoke-On-
Trent for firing.
In 1901, The Red Letter magazine (a DC Thomson publication)
funded an Artisan Expedition to America.
The Falkirk Herald of 10th August 1901 reported:
"RED LETTER" ARTIZAN EXPEDITION - Mr Frank Harris, pottery
decorator, 4 Philpingstone Road, Bo'ness, has been elected by
popular vote to take part in the "Red Letter" Artizan Expedition to
America The party consists of twelve representative working men,
who will leave by the Ethiopia, of the Anchor Line, from Glasgow on
August 15th, direct to New York.
After "doing" the Falls of Niagara, the "Red Letter" travellers will
visit the Buffalo Exposition, and then pass on to the great industrial
districts of the United States, where every facility will be afforded
them for seeing and inquiring into things from a workman's point of
Mr Harris, who has been chosen to report on the pottery industry,
has had a wide experience of this business. He was apprenticed
to Messrs W. T. Copeland and Sons, Stoke-on-Trent, as china
painter and gilder. The present head of that renowned firm, Mr R.P.
Copeland, J.P., was one of the first to support his candidature. He
has filled other important posts as decorative manager and
designer with success at home and abroad.
In 1878 he published his treatise on painting on china, and was
highly complimented thereon by the late Right Hon. W.E.
On the nomination of his then employer, the late Mr Edward F.
Bodley, he was sent to the Royal Commission to report on pottery
and glass at the Paris Exhibition, 1878, and his report was
published by the Society of Arts.
At the present time he is engaged in the decorative department of
Messrs C. W. McNay and Sons, Bridgeness Pottery, Bo'ness, by
whose kind permission he joins the present expedition, the cost of
which will be entirely borne by the proprietors of the "Red Letter".
This pencil drawing of Frank accompanied the newspaper article.
According to his family, Frank painted a brooch for Queen
Alexandra which she accepted.
The Queen originated a "flag day" where roses were the "flags" and
were sold on the streets for charity. This once a year day was
called Queen's Rose Day.
Frank's brooch had roses painted on it in honour of the Queen's
The following two brooches were also painted by Frank.