Research Seminar: Jennifer Black
POLICING FAKES: EARLY TRADEMARK REGULATION IN THE U.S.
This paper examines the problem of counterfeit goods in the antebellum years, contextualizing the rise of these products and their prosecution by the state within the "freewheeling marketplace" described by Stephen Mihm, Ed Balleisen, and others. Through several case studies, the chapter enumerates the issues at stake in the first trademark infringement lawsuits in the US, including the economic anxieties prompted by the Panic of 1837, the tenuous social position of the middle class, competition between domestic and foreign manufacturers, and the unregulated commercial marketplace. The judges in these lawsuits moralized economic behavior in ways that mirrored then-emergent credit reporting structures, infusing middle-class standards of behavior into commerce. As the state struggled to keep pace, early regulatory measures adopted similar moral standards to separate legitimate from illegitimate competition.
Attendees are encouraged to read Black's paper, "Policing Fakes: Early Trademark Regulation in the U.S.," which may be obtained by contacting Carol Lockman at email@example.com.
Free, reply requested, call (302) 658-2400, ext. 243, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
In July of 1969, the first men landed on the moon. But did you know the suits that made those first steps possible were created here in Delaware? In “Apollo Spacesuits: History, Technology, and Culture”, Dr. Lantry will discuss space suits’ link to Delaware’s industrial heritage as well as their connection to artifact study and cultural/technological history.
THE SYNTHETICS REVOLUTION AND THE SENSES
This paper examines the synthetics revolution in fashion and fibers within the context of the new field of the history of the senses. The story of the synthetics revolution—the introduction of man-made and test-tube fibers into the textile-fashion supply chain—has most often been told as the story of heroic inventors or the story of the judicious management investment in R&D. In reality, DuPont and other fiber makers of the mid to late twentieth century were also innovative marketers who invested heavily in product development, advertising, motivational research, and promotion. Those efforts, in turn, attempted to tap into and capitalize on the hopes, desires, and concerns of consumers on matters of comfort and convenience.