sample books

Industrial Espionage


Turkey red refers to a brilliant scarlet dye for cotton, or more accurately, a process for dyeing cotton red. As suggested by the variety of names used --Turkey red, Adrianople red, rouge des Indes—the technique was practiced throughout the eastern Mediterranean, but was completely unknown in Europe before the eighteenth century. In order to discover the secret process, textile firms in England and France began sending industrial spies to Turkey and Greece.
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On Pins and Needles


This catalog and sample book, circa 1930, contains needle and sewing items manufactured by The Dominion Steel and Coal Corporation (DOSCO), a Canadian coal mining and steel manufacturing company. Included are more than 50 steel sewing, crocheting, and knitting needles and safety pins. Some are even in their original packaging. Brief captions, images, illustrations, and item numbers accompany each item—most captions are in English, with some in German. 

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Cooper-Hewitt: Cloak and Dagger - Design Espionage


In past centuries sample books served to record patterns and motifs used in decorative arts and were carefully guarded by manufacturers against espionage attempts from competitors. In this panel, held in conjunction with Multiple Choice: From Sample to Product. Cooper-Hewitt invites you to join intellectual property lawyer Harley Lewin, and Susan Posen, CEO of Zac Posen, in a conversation with Eric Wilson of The New York Times on how designers strive to protect their work in a knock-off culture.
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Multiple Choice: From Sample to Product


This exhibition will examine sample books and other sampling formats as tools for marketing or recording designs and techniques in a wide variety of media. Drawn from the Museum's collection, exhibition objects will include sample books of wallcoverings; woven and printed textiles; ribbons, lace and embroidery; sample plates; and drawings and prints showing design alternatives.
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