Calico Printers' Act, London (1787)

Source: Durham University Library

Calico Printers' Act, London (1787), Primary Sources on Copyright (1450-1900), eds L. Bently & M. Kretschmer,

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Record-ID: uk_1787

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Full title:
An Act for the Encouragement of the Arts of designing and printing Linens, Cottons, Callicoes, and Muslins, by vesting the Properties thereof, in the Designers, Printers and Proprietors, for a limited time, 1787, 27 Geo.III, c.38

Full title original language:

Legislation conferred exclusive rights lasting two months on those first printing 'new and original' patterns on linens, cottons, calicoes and muslins. The commentary describes the background to the Act, the challenge which the Northern cotton and printing industry presented to those printing fashionable cottons and calicoes in London, as well as the significance of the cotton industry to the British economy in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth century. Against this backdrop, the commentary also explores why it was that the protection provided by the legislature was limited to two months only, by comparison with the more generous copyright terms provided by the Statute of Anne 1710 (uk_1710) and the Engravers' Acts (uk_1735; uk_1766; uk_1777a).

1 Commentary:

  • Turnbull, G., A History of the Calico Printing Industry of Great Britain (Altrincham: John Sherratt & Son, 1951)

  • Sherman, B., and Bently, L., The Making of Modern Intellectual Property Law: the British Experience, 1760-1911 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1999)

  • Longfield, A.K., 'William Kilburn and the earliest Copyright Acts for Cotton Printing Designs', Burlington Magazine, 95 (1953): 230-33

  • Chapman, S., and Chassange, S., European Textile Printers in the Eighteenth Century: a Study of Peel and Oberkamps (London: Heinemann Educational, 1981)

  • Baines, E., History of the Cotton Manufacture in Great Britain (London: Fisher & Co., 1835). Reprinted in The Cotton Industry: Its Growth and Impact, 1600-1935, 9 vols. Edited by Chapman, S. (Bristol: Thoemmes Press, 1999), Vol.2

Related documents in this database:
1787: Calico Printers' Act (parchment copy)

Author: N/A

Publisher: N/A

Year: 1787

Location: London

Language: English

Source: Durham University Library

Persons referred to:
George III

Places referred to:
Great Britain

Cases referred to:

Institutions referred to:
Court of Sessions, Scotland
House of Commons
House of Lords

Calico Printers' Act, 1787, 27 Geo.III, c.38
Engravers' Copyright Act, 1735, 8 Geo.II, c.13

applied art, protected subject matter
authorship, theory of
industrial revolution

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