Coogan's furniture manufacturing and retailing firm was established by upholsterer, William Coogan, in Launceston in 1876. The business expanded over the next four decades with factories in Hobart and Launceston and retail stores in Hobart, Launceston, Burnie and Ulverstone. At the peak of its success, Coogan's claimed to be 'the largest furniture warehouse and manufacturer' in Australia, and in the early 1920s was one of Tasmania's largest employers with a workforce of 376. However, from the mid-1920s depressed economic conditions, the Second World War and finally competition from mass production forced the closure of the factories and the Burnie and Ulverstone stores during the 1950s. Coogan's Moonah furniture store opened in 1964, but the Launceston store closed in 1978, leaving only the Hobart and Moonah retail establishments to celebrate the firm's 120th anniversary in 1996.

Further reading: W Coogan & Co, Coogan's latest catalogue 1913, Hobart, 1994; L Dickens, The first 120 Years, Hobart, 1996, 1999; J Koshin, 'Coogan's', THRAPP 43/2, 1996.

Jillian Koshin