Butterick Publishing Company

The Butterick Publishing Company was founded by Ebenezer Butterick to distribute the first graded sewing patterns. By 1867, it had released its first magazine, Ladies Quarterly of Broadway Fashions, followed by The Metropolitan in 1868. These magazines contained patterns and fashion news.[1]


19th century

The Delineator, August 1894 cover

In the spring of 1867, E. Butterick and Co. began publishing Ladies Quarterly of Broadway Fashions. In 1868, the monthly magazine The Metropolitan began publication. Both magazines were aimed at women and served as a means to sell Butterick paper patterns via mail order.[2][3]

In 1873, the two magazines were merged into a single publication, The Delineator. The magazine served as a marketing tool for Butterick patterns[4] and discussed fashion and fabrics, including advice for home sewists.[5]

By 1876, E. Butterick & Co. had become a worldwide enterprise selling patterns as far away as Paris, London, Vienna and Berlin, with 100 branch offices and 1,000 agencies throughout the United States and Canada.

20th century

In 1903 the company built the Butterick Building at Spring and MacDougal Streets in Manhattan. In 1926, S.R. Latshaw was president of the Butterick Publishing Co.[6]

One of Butterick's subsidiary companies was the Ridgway Company, which published the pulp magazines Everybody's Magazine and Adventure.[7]

After 1950

In 1961, Butterick licensed the name and trademark Vogue Patterns from Condé Nast Publications, Inc. and purchased its pattern division. The company was purchased in 1967 by American Can Company and became a subsidiary renamed the Butterick Fashion Marketing Co. In the 1970s, sewing lost popularity and sales began to suffer. In 1983 Butterick's management group headed by Bill Wilson and John Lehmann purchased the company from American Can Company. William Proctor Wilson was the first chief executive officer of the privatized Butterick. In 1988 management sold approximately 60 percent of the company to Robert Bass's Acadia Investors. In 1988 Wilson was succeeded as chief executive officer by John Lehmann. In 2001, The McCall Pattern Company acquired Butterick and Vogue Patterns,[8] and it still continued printing and marketing sewing patterns in and under all three lines as of the middle of February 2016. These continued to be sold from fabric and sewing-supplies stores like Jo-Ann Fabrics and Hancock Fabrics; Walmart commenced to offer them as well.

Children's patterns

The delineator x1
The Little Delineator, February 1925 Cover.

Butterick also published a series of pamphlets for children titled The Little Delineator. Designed for both boys and girls, the pamphlets featured eight pages of stories, artwork and contests. Each issue focused on a theme (often a holiday or season). They also featured play ideas (items to make), and on teaching morals and values. The series did not have a fashion focus as did The Delineator, but was more general in outlook. Each issue offered some kind of prize or reward and a Deli-Club membership card. The series did not contain advertising.[1][9][10]



  1. ^ a b "Butterick History". Butterick. The McCall Pattern Company, Inc. Retrieved 5 January 2019.
  2. ^ Emery 2014, p. 42.
  3. ^ Kosut, Mary, ed. (2012). Encyclopedia of Gender in Media. SAGE Publications. pp. 436–437. ISBN 1412990793.
  4. ^ Emery 2014, p. 52.
  5. ^ Jill, Condra, ed. (2008). The Greenwood Encyclopedia of Clothing Through World History: 1801 to the present. Greenwood Publishing Group. p. 25. ISBN 9780313336652.
  6. ^ "Butterick Magazines to Merge" (PDF). The New York Times. June 17, 1926. Retrieved February 5, 2011.
  7. ^ Goulart, Ron. Cheap thrills: an informal history of the pulp magazines. Arlington House, 1972, ISBN 978-0-87000-172-7. (PP. 31-32.)
  8. ^ Alan Clendenning (June 5, 2001). "Many say merger is not 'sew' good". Associated Press. Retrieved November 30, 2011.
  9. ^ Grant, Tina (ed.). "Butterick Co., Inc". International Directory of Company Histories. Vol. 23. St. James Press. ISBN 9781558623644. Retrieved May 10, 2010.
  10. ^ Eager, H.; Graef, R. (February 1925). The Little Delineator. The Butterick Publishing Company.


  • Emery, Joy (2014). A History of the Paper Pattern Industry: The Home Dressmaking Fashion Revolution. Bloomsbury Publishing. ISBN 1472577450.

External links

Adventure (magazine)

Adventure was an American pulp magazine that was first published in November 1910 by

the Ridgway company, an offshoot of the Butterick Publishing Company. Adventure went on to become one of the most profitable and critically acclaimed of all the American pulp magazines. The magazine had 881 issues. The magazine's first editor was Trumbull White, he was succeeded in 1912 by Arthur Sullivant Hoffman (1876–1966), who would edit the magazine until 1927.

Bar tack

In sewing, bar tack, also written bar-tack or bartack, refers to a series of stitches used to reinforce areas of a garment that may be subject to stress or additional wear. Typical areas for bar tack stitches include pocket openings, buttonholes, belt loops, the bottom of a fly opening, tucks, pleats and the corners of collars. Bar tacks may be sewn by hand, using whip stitches, or by machine, using zigzag stitches. The process for sewing a bar tack is essentially to sew several long, narrowly-spaced stitches along the line of the bar that will be formed, followed by short stitches made perpendicular to the long stitches, through the fabric and over the bar. The bar commonly varies between 1⁄16 to 1⁄8 inch (1.6 to 3.2 mm) in width and 1⁄4 to 3⁄8 inch (6.4 to 9.5 mm) in length. In some garments, such as jeans, the bar tack will be sewn in a contrasting color.

Similar stitches to the bar tack include the arrowhead tack and crow's foot tack.


A bodice ( ) is an article of clothing for women and girls, covering the body from the neck to the waist. In modern usage it typically refers to a specific type of upper garment common in Europe during the 16th to the 18th century, or to the upper portion of a modern dress to distinguish it from the skirt and sleeves. The term comes from pair of bodies (because the garment was originally made in two pieces that fastened together, frequently by lacing).


Butterick may refer to:

Butterick Publishing Company

Carmen de Pinillos

Carmen Torres Calderón de Pinillos was a Peruvian writer, editor, and translator.


A dress (also known as a frock or a gown) is a garment consisting of a skirt with an attached bodice (or a matching bodice giving the effect of a one-piece garment). It consists of a top piece that covers the torso and hangs down over the legs. A dress can be any one-piece garment containing a skirt of any length. Dresses can be formal or informal. In many cultures, dresses are more often worn by women and girls.

The hemlines of dresses vary depending on the fashion of the time period and the modesty or personal taste of the wearer.


A dressmaker is a person who makes custom clothing for women, such as dresses, blouses, and evening gowns. A dressmaker is also called a mantua-maker (historically) or a modiste.

Ebenezer Butterick

Ebenezer Butterick (29 May 1826 – 31 March 1903) was an American tailor, inventor, manufacturer, and fashion business executive, born in Sterling, Massachusetts.

Everybody's Magazine

Everybody's Magazine was an American magazine published from 1899 to 1929. The magazine was headquartered in New York City.

George B. Mallon

George Barry Mallon (May 20, 1865 - January 13, 1928) was an editor for The Sun (New York) from Malone, New York. He was active in New York City literary circles for forty years as both a writer and an editor.

George Washington (inventor)

George Constant Louis Washington (May 20, 1871 – March 29, 1946) was a Belgium-born American inventor and businessman. He is best remembered for his invention of an early instant coffee process and for the company he founded to mass-produce it, the G. Washington Coffee Company.An emigrant from his native Belgium, he arrived in the New York area in 1897 and dabbled in several technical fields before hitting upon instant coffee manufacture during a sojourn in Central America in 1906 or 1907. He began selling his coffee in 1909 and founded a company to manufacture it in 1910. Based in New York and New Jersey, his company prospered and became an important military supplier during World War I. The company's products were also advertised in New York newspapers and on the radio. The success of his company made Washington wealthy, and he lived in a mansion in Brooklyn and then moved to a country estate in New Jersey in 1927. In that same year, he lost a dispute with the tax authorities. Washington was married and had three children.

Washington's company was sold to American Home Products in 1943, shortly before his death. Though the coffee brand was discontinued by 1961, Washington's name is still used today in the product G. Washington's Seasoning & Broth.

MODE (magazine)

MODE (stylized MODE) was a fashion magazine aimed towards plus-size women which launched in the spring of 1997. The magazine was praised for targeting the plus-size consumer with a Vogue-like fashion philosophy. MODE also helped to increase the growth of the plus-size industry and the caliber of plus-size clothing and advertising. In 1997, MODE was named the best new magazine launch by Ad Week and Advertising Age. MODE also ran model search competitions in conjunction with the Wilhelmina modeling agency, drawing entries from thousands of hopefuls from the US and Canada. Its circulation was approximately 600,000 at the time of its demise in October 2001.

Marie Mattingly Meloney

Marie Mattingly Meloney (1878–1943), who used Mrs. William B. Meloney as her professional and social name, was "one of the leading woman journalists of the United States", a magazine editor and a socialite who in the 1920s organized a fund drive to buy radium for Marie Curie and began a movement for better housing. In the 1930s she was a friend and confidante of Eleanor Roosevelt. She was nicknamed Missy.

Marion Manville Pope

Marion Manville Pope (July 13, 1859 – ?) was an American author of poetry and juvenile literature. After marriage, she traveled to Cuba and Mexico.

The Delineator

The Delineator was an American women's magazine of the late 19th and early 20th centuries, founded by the Butterick Publishing Company in 1869 under the name The Metropolitan Monthly. Its name was changed in 1875. The magazine was published on a monthly basis in New York City. In November 1926, under the editorship of Mrs. William Brown Meloney, it absorbed The Designer, founded in 1887 and published by the Standard Fashion Company, a Butterick subsidiary.One of The Delineator's managing editors was writer Theodore Dreiser, who worked with other members of the

staff such as Sarah Field Splint (later known for writing cookbooks ) and Arthur Sullivant Hoffman.

The Delineator featured the Butterick sewing patterns and provided an in-depth look at the fashion of the day. Butterick also produced quarterly catalogs of fashion patterns in the 1920s and early 1930s.In addition to clothing patterns, the magazine published photos and drawings of embroidery and needlework that could be used to adorn both clothing and items for the home. It also included articles on all forms of home decor. It also published fiction, including many short stories by L. Frank Baum.It ceased publication in 1937.

Thelma Cudlipp

Thelma Somerville Cudlipp (October 14, 1891–April 2, 1983) was an American artist and book illustrator.

William Proctor Wilson

William Proctor Wilson (July 2, 1921 – March 7, 2010) was CEO of The Butterick Publishing Company. As President and CEO, Wilson led one of the first leveraged buyouts of the 1980s when a Butterick management group headed by Bill Wilson and John Lehmann purchased the company from American Can. The buyout was $12.5 million, of which all but $500,000 was borrowed. Wilson grew up the middle of three children born to Trevett Abbot Wilson of Warren, Rhode Island and Jesse Proctor of New York. He descended from a long line of influential figures in Rhode Island history, Roger Williams (theologian), Nathan Miller (Rhode Island), Joel Abbot, and Thomas G. Turner. He was married to Mildred Annette Smith for many years with whom he had two daughters. They divorced in 1976. Later in life, he married his third wife Leona Rocha of Maui, Hawaii, the inventor of the fashion ruler and the 2010 elected member to the Board of Education Maui Residency Seat for the Hawaii Department of Education. The two had worked together at The Butterick Publishing Company when she was their national spokesperson and he the CEO; they remained married until his death in 2010. He, with his wife Leona Rocha, established the William & Leona Wilson Scholarship Fund at the University of Hawaii Maui College.

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