Understanding patents without drawings

The pseudo-technical language of ‘cords’ and ‘rings’ and hidden elements are hard to understand when there are drawings present, so in order to not eliminate what might be patents with transformations which allow the potential for greater storytelling, we have to make our own visuals.

make our own pics


Mary Ann Ward, whose buttoned straps might well become part of the collection as it can radically affect a plain walking skirt with a new transformation, a kind of variation of our first piece- The Alice, so this is just a teaser.

mary ann ward

In Emma Grimes’ patent for a ‘combined bicycling and walking skirt’ I try and interpret

Overlapping box pleats extending from the wait to the hem, so as to present the ordinary appearance of the tail of a walking skirt and to enable the superfluous amplitude of the skirt to be disposed of neatly for riding purposes a system of draw cords is provided running through guide rings at the inner folds of the pleats whereby the pleats may be drawn closely together and caused to present a neat appearance when the rider is in the saddle without the possibility of the superfluous fullness if the skirt being blown about by the wind or disarranged by the movements of the bicyclist. 

In order to permit this contraction of the pleats by the tightening of the cords without festooning of the skirt, suitable stiffeners might be provided in the pleats.  

And here’s my attempt at creating a model with which to understand the stiffened pleats gathered up together with a cord through rings.


paper skirt open

paper skirt closed

If I were to make a working toile of this I would probably stiffen the pleats with sections of iron on interfacing, changing the quality of how the fabric hangs. I wonder what material Emma Grimes would have used?

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