Butterick's (& the Delineator)

Butterick's (& the Delineator)
Notes on the Delineator Magazine and the Butterick Company

I can almost hear the sigh of Ellen Butterick who wished for a pattern to make her children's clothes instead of unpicking them and tracing them over and over. Her lament prompted her husband Ebenezer, to found Butterick's Pattern company in 1863. In order to sell patterns, Mr. Butterick founded the "Metropolitan Monthly." This magazine was replaced by the "Delineator", a magazine more familiar to tatters.

The Butterick Company held a prominent position in the early 20th century and maintained its popularity with seamstresses even after the close of The Delineator in 1937. It was so popular that it was available in 5 languages at one time. And all those patterns were a great boon to tatters as high fashion demanded lots of embellishment. Many tatting and other needle work patterns were included in the magazine for this reason.

Through many changes in content and standard, the "Delineator" is also memorable for more than clothes patterns and the occasional tatting motif. Under the editorship of its first woman editor Marie Mattingly Maloney, The Delineator ran a fundraiser campaign to raise $100,000 to buy a gram of radium for Marie Curie (1867-1934) to use in her research. Madame Curie was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1903 and in Chemistry in 1911. I believe I read that she was the only woman to have won two Nobel Prizes.

Ed's note: I cannot say that Marie was a tatter, but there are two photos posted online that show embellished necklines:

While the great American novelist, Theodore Dreiser, was editor, one Ralph Tilton was contracted to sell advertising for the magazine. A wastrel, womanizer and party boy, Tilton still had one good mark on his record. He invented an advertising incentive that is still in use today; the "coupon."

FYI: The title of this magazine, the "Delineator" came from a tool used by tailors to trim patterns in multiple sizes.

Here is a vintage pattern from an 1892 "Delineator":

You Should Also Read:
Building a Tatting Library - Butterick's

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