Tag Archives: reproductions

AAGPBL – The All-American Girl’s Professional Baseball League

Before anyone gets too excited, this uniform is a reproduction. I’ve been wanting an actual AAGPBL uniform for years, but the reality of ever finding one is quite small. There was a very limited number of them made to begin with, and many of these are rightfully in museum collections. Still, a girl can hope.

I found this reproduction at the Goodwill Dig. I knew it was not the real deal, being made in China of a cheap poly/cotton mix. But it was too interesting to leave behind. I contacted the AAGPBL website, and the nice people there told me that a company licensed the design to make these as costumes. And a search on Instagram shows lots of women dressed in this Rockford Peaches costume.

I added the bias binding belt, as the photos show a dark red belt.

The AAGPBL became famous due to the movie, A League of Their Own. I’ve written about the league in the past:

Started in 1943 by Chicago Cubs owner Philip Wrigley in order to keep revenue flowing through Wrigley Field during the war [WWII], it was originally a softball league. The name was changed to baseball, and the rules were a mix of both games. Wrigley came up with the idea of the players wearing skirts with little bloomers beneath. He felt like skirts were more womanly.

He also mandated that the players could not wear slacks off the field, and they must always wear makeup and lipstick, and wear high heels when not playing. There were lots of rules, but the pay was good.

The league was started in 1943, and lasted until 1954. All the teams were in the Midwest, mainly in smaller cities, like Rockford, Illinois. Many of the cities that had teams now house uniforms and memorabilia in their municipal museums.  The Grand Rapids Public Museum has a nice collection of that city’s team, and last year curator Andrea Melvin wrote a great research report on it for the Costume Society of America’s journal, Dress. 

It’s not likely that one of these uniforms will turn up here in Western North Carolina, but then no one expected to find Vince Lombardi’s West Point sweater here either. A girl can hope.

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Filed under Collecting, Curiosities, Sportswear

From Towel to Dress

Several years ago I posted this photo of a cocktail towel that is in my possession, which goes to show what a great memory my friend Mod Betty has when it comes to design.  She was doing a bit of online shopping when she happened upon a dress with a design that rung a bell with her.  She sent the link my way to see if I could find my photos of the towel so we could compare the two.

As you can see, the two prints are not identical, but the dress print was apparently based on the print of the vintage towel.  Look carefully and you will see that the martini glass with  olive and the ice cubes have been added to the original design.  The website where this dress is sold describes the print as  a “unique new Atomic Martini print.”

My towel was made by Martex, which was originally a maker of printed kitchen linens.  Today, Martex is still in business and is owned by WestPoint Home, which also owns many of the other great American home textile makers including Stevens, Pepperell, and Utica.

Does the addition of the martini glass, the olive and the ice cube make this print new?  Is there a copyright violation?  It would take a copyright expert to answer those questions, something that I am not.

I love interesting printed fabrics, and I like the dress.  However, it bothers me that the line between what is vintage and what is reproduced is so terribly smudged.  I’m glad I’m a collector now, and not twenty years down the road, because between all the retro fabrics and reproductions, it is going to be hard to tell what is what.  Add to that all the people (including me) who are sewing with vintage patterns and vintage fabrics, and there are going to be a lot of very confusing clothes at the Goodwill of the future.

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Filed under Novelty Prints, Viewpoint

What I Didn’t Buy – The Game of Golf

It has happened to all good flea marketers.  You spot something wonderful, your heart skips a beat, and almost as quickly your hopes are dashed away.

The box above is the latest in a long line of such hope-dashings.  I spotted this last week in an antique mall, and my first thought was “I hope the price is not too high.”  It wasn’t,  in fact the price was too low.  That’s always a sign that you need to take a close second look.  And what I found was not pretty.

This label was a fake – a modern homemade reproduction  from either a color copier or a computer printer.  I’m not an expert on antique lithography, but this was not even a good replica, with the writing at the bottom of the print being so smudged as to be unreadable.  It was irregularly cut, and glued to a crude, homemade box.

It’s flea market season; let the buyer beware!

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Filed under I Didn't Buy...

A Cheap Lesson Learned

They say that a lot of the success of a magician lies in the fact that you think you know what you are seeing, and that you have certain preconceived notions about what is happening. The same can be said for shopping for collectibles.  If you see something that immediately registers with your memory, then you are not as likely to question it.  At least that’s the way I am, and unfortunately I got caught in this trap last weekend.

The object in question is the cute terrier doggie hanger pictured above.  I have had the one on the bottom for years, and see these from time to time.  I had always meant to pick up another one or two if I ran across cheap ones, so when I spotted two for $5 in an antique store, I decided to get them.  Honestly, I did not even really look twice at them because I was just certain of what they were.

Not so, as I discovered when I got them home.  On the back of the price tag, which I had assumed was a tag put there by the shop owner, as it was a cutsie, handmade looking affair, was that most dreaded of stickers – Made in China.  At first I thought there must be some kind of mistake!  I had one of these and I knew it was old.  Then I noticed how perfect they were – no tarnish on the metal hook, no scratches on the paint.  I got out my old one to compare.  The new ones are almost twice as thick, the hook is slightly different, as is the shape of the wood.

As I’ve said in former rants about reproductions, my big problem with them is not that fools like me spend small amounts of money on them, but rather that it seems so unjust for a modern company to claim a design they basically had nothing to do with.  We see this all the time in fashion and in printed textiles.  Even famous designers have been known to reproduce rather than to design.  It just seems so… lazy.

 

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Filed under Collecting, Viewpoint