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A discussion arose at the Plymouth meeting of the Devonshire Association in 1916 when it was suggested that this word should be recorded in the list of local verbal provincialisms. Several members dissented from its inclusion on the ground that it is in common use throughout the country; and a naval officer who was present said that it has for years been a popular expression in the service for a tool or implement, the exact name of which is unknown or has for the moment been forgotten. I have also frequently heard it applied by motor-cycle friends to the collection of fitments to be seen on motor cycles. 'His handle-bars are smothered in gadgets' refers to such things as speedometers, mirrors, levers, badges, mascots, &c., attached to the steering handles. The 'jigger' or short-rest used in billiards is also often called a 'gadget'; and the name has been applied by local platelayers to the 'gauge' used to test the accuracy of their work. In fact, to borrow from present-day Army slang, 'gadget' is applied to 'any old thing.'
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