Copyrights protect the creators of original works, giving the creator exclusive right to reproduce copy and distribute the work. As of Jan. 1, 1978, the copyright law doesn’t require formal registration in order to have copyright protection; in essence, the … Continue reading
The Gingham Apron
Cindy looked crossly at the fresh gingham apron her mother took from a drawer.
“Momma, please can’t I give up wearing aprons?”
“No, dear,” momma answered.
Oh please, don’t make me.”
“Come dear put it on,” answered Momma decidedly.
With tears in the little girl’s eyes, she obeyed slowly. Ever since Sadie West, the new girl at school, came, Cindy hated wearing her aprons. Sadie wore such pretty dresses and she never wore an apron.
“Cindy, your aprons are so pretty apron,” said Grandma “the gingham is so fine and the blue so clear and that nice embroidery on the neck and wrist are lovely.”
“I hate apron,” winking repeatedly fighting back the tears.
“I am sorry,” Grandma said gravely, “but you must protect your dress. Those two dresses must do you all winter for school. You couldn’t keep them clean without aprons.”
It was a beautiful crisp morning in October. Warm enough for Cindy to go out without a jacket. She started for school feeling very cross. Momma was unkind, Cindy thought, to make her wear aprons when she hated them so. Sadie West looks so nice without them. Cindy figured Sadie must think she, Cindy, dreadfully countrified. It’s so much more stylish without aprons.
Cindy’s dresses, made by her mother, are really pretty. But no one can see then, she thought, when she wears one of those dreadful aprons.
Cindy’s way led across an empty lot. In one corner of the lot was a large pile of lumber. Cindy stopped suddenly. She has an idea.
I’ll just do it,” she murmured proudly. She looked hurriedly around; there was no one in sight. She placed her school satchel on the ground, hastily unbuttoned her gingham apron, folded it and thrust it behind the lumber pile.
“Now, Sadie can see how pretty my dress is and noticed I’m not countrified, if all the other girls are,” Cindy looked complacently down at her beautiful blue dress. “I can easily slip on the apron on my way home after school. None of the other girls live my way.”
Greatly to Cindy’s disappointment, Sadie West was not at school that day nor the following two days. It was said that Sadie was home sick. Each of those days Cindy hid her apron neatly behind the lumber pile.
On the third morning as Cindy got ready for school, Momma said, “How clean your apron is, dear. It’s fresh enough for you to wear again today.”
Cindy felt her face flushing. She didn’t look at her mother.
“My little girl is getting very careful,” went on Momma proudly, then bent and kissed Cindy on the forehead.
Cindy felt uncomfortable, but she thought, “I can’t help it. Momma is so old-fashioned. If not she wouldn’t make me wear aprons. Sadie, who’d always lived in the city, doesn’t wear them. I hope she will be at school this morning.”
Just then Papa came into the room and said, “Cindy, I have to drive to the springs. I’ll take you to school on the way. Hurry down. The buggy is waiting.” Cindy thought with dismay that now she wouldn’t be able to take off her apron. Cindy grabbed her things and hurried after her father.
The first person Cindy saw when she arrived in the school yard was Sadie West. Sadie came running up to Cindy, “Oh, Cindy,” she exclaimed, “you’ve got on your pretty blue apron. Momma is making me aprons. I told her all the girls here wear them. I’m helping her get at it in the evenings after school. It’s delightful and I can’t wait to wear mine! Momma says it’s a splendid idea wearing them because my dresses will not got spotted, you see.” Sadie laughed happily.
The school bell rang just then and both little girls went at once to class, Sadie holding Cindy’s hand tightly.
Bewildered, Cindy suddenly felt ashamed and as the morning wore on she understood thoroughly what she’d done wrong.
Momma knew best. Cindy decided to tell her mother what a naughty girl she’d been as soon as she got home. And she did.
How can you investigate copyrights and copyright renewal certificates of sewing patterns to determine if they’re in public domain? 1. Visit the United States Copyright Office: For a fee a copyright worker can research the copyright for you. Research yourself. … Continue reading
I receive alot of questions about patent notices on vintage sewing patterns. My advice is to check the patent status at the United States Patent and Trademark Office and the Google Patents database is an excellent source of information.
Information included in the patent application generally includes some of the following information:
- A title/name of the item.
- The date the patent application was filed.
- The name of the applicant.
- The term of the patent, if granted.
- Illustration of the item at all views.
Clothing can be patented (although extremely difficult) if the garment is “a new, useful and obvious invention”.
Utility patents may be granted for new and useful processes, machine, articles of manufacture, composition of matter, or new and useful improvements. Design patents may be granted to an inventor of new, original and ornamental design for an article of manufacture.
The words “patent pending” appears on some vintage sewing patterns. According to the patent office the:
Phrase often appears on manufactured items. It means that someone has applied for a patent on an invention that is contained in the manufactured item (sewing pattern). It serves as a warning that a patent may issue that would cover the item and that copiers should be careful because they might infringe if the patent issues. Once the patent issues, the patent owner will stop using the phrase “patent pending” and start using a phrase such as “covered by U.S. Patent Number XXXXXXX.” Applying the patent pending phrase to an item when no patent application has been made can result in a fine.
I found the patent record for Butterick 4653, a robe or similar article (according to the application) at Google Patents. It was filed by Albert Wilson on Jan. 5, 1952 and lasted for a term of 14 years.
Generally, patents don’t last longer than 20 years. So, patent information on vintage sewing patterns is irrelevant.
Saw yet again another Internet argument over public domain material. Public domain isn’t a new phenomenon. Copyrights aren’t meant to last forever. Public domain works are said to belong to “the public” and “the public” (you and me) can do … Continue reading