US 349526 A
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L. W. SE'AVEY.
.Patented Sept. Z1, 1886..
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UNITED STATES PATENT OFFICE.
LAFAYETTE WV. SEAVEY, OF NEV YORK, N. Y.
TH EATRICALl SCENERY.
SPECIFICATION forming part of Letters Patent No. 349,526, dated September 21, 1886.
Application filed January 12, 1886. Serial No. 198,334. (No model.)
To all whom it may concern:
Be it known that I, LAFAYETTE XV. SEAVEY, of the city, county, and State of New York, have invented a new and useful Improvement in Theatrical Scenery; and I do hereby declare that the following is a full and exact description thereof, reference being had to the accompanying drawings, and to the letters of rcfer ence kmarked thereon, making a part of this specification, in which- Figure l is an elevation of my improved theatrical scene mounted; Fig. 2, the scene folded, and Fig. 3 the scene rolled up for transportation. A
My invention relates 'to an improvement in the manufacture of theatrical scenery.
Heretofore the scenes for theatrical performances have been painted with pigments upon a foundation of burlap or Russia linen, or canvas primed with Whiting and glue, or of cotton cloth sized with glue. The oil colors and pigments ordinarily employed in painting the scenes from their nature necessarily scale or crumble and breakaway from the underlying canvas when itis moved or disturbed. This has lcd to the vuse of stiff burlap `and Russia linen as a foundation for the finest scenes and such as are most exposed and most used, and the burlap or linen requires to be primed or coated with a layer of whiting or glue,in order to properly receive the pigments. For less expensive scenery, cotton cloth primed with Whiting and glue, or sized with glue alone, is used instead of the stiffer burlap or linen cloth. As the scenery thus prepared may not be folded, it must, when transported from place to place, remain stretched upon the frames or battens of the flats or wings, or be carefully rolled up upon wooden rollers of a length equal to its full width. The weight of the battens or rollers, added to that of the heavy canvas loaded with sizing and pigments, renders the cost of handling and freights a very large item of expense, while the fact that the least crease or fold made in the painted canvas produces a permanent defect, and that any rubbingor fric tion upon its surface mars it, necessitating av frequent renewal or replacement of the scenes to maintain their freshness. Moreover, the sizing used in the preparation of the canvas produces oftentimes, in connection with the pigments, an extremely unpleasantsmell upon the stage and in the theater.
The object of my invention is to overcome these many disadvantages attendant upon the 5 5 use of the painted theatrical scenery heretofore manufactured, and to furnish at less cost scenes of any dimensions which shall be extremely light, and hence easily handled; will not crumble or crease or become marred by friction, but will admit of being folded or rolled and packed in trunks 'without the slightest injury, and thereby protected from the inclemency of the weather in a manner not heretofore possible; will be free from any unpleasant smell, and which with the fullest range of coloring will combine with afresh ,brightappcarance atranslucency advantageous in the production of varions pleasing scenic effects not attainable with heavy opaque pigments and a primed canvas. 7o
After long research and experiment I have succeeded in accomplishing the desired object by the use of aniline dyes applied directly to white cotton cloth.
In manufactu ring a scene in pursuance of my invention the white cotton cloth is properly stretched to furnish a smooth surface, andthe iuid aniline dyes of any of the different shades or colors are applied directly to the cloth with a brush in such manner as to delineate properly thereon the required design or scene. The dyes seize upon and elfectually stain and color the cloth with a bright, clear,transparent effect, and the wide range of tints, shades, and colors obtainable in the dyes and by combinations thereof enables the artist to produce 'readily every conceivable effect which his taste or the demands of the subject may call for or suggest. After the scene has been painted in with the dyes in solid colors, as described, the high lights may be picked out or traced throughout the picture or design by applying at the re-V quired points or on the required lines a solution of nitric acid, and then washing the cloth with clean Water, or, as an equivalent, by applying thereto snlphurie acid, then treating it with ammonia, and Washing out with Water. The effect of this acid treatment is to remove the-coloring from the cloth and bring out its original whiteness, and by means thereof very Ico brilliant effects may be produced in a scene. Other equivalent acids known to the art may be used instead of those named.
In the accompanying drawings, A repre- 5 sents the cloth, upon which a scene` B, is paint- .ed in manner as described. The scene is made fast to the frame or batten O by means of louttons or hooks or other detachable fastenings, I) D, so as to admit of being removed for trans- .lo portation, and when removed may be folded,
as shown in Fig. 2, or rolled up into the smallest possible compass, as shown in Fig. 3, without injury thereto.
The cost of the aniline dyes is not only less than that of the pigments usually employed; but they may be more rapidly applied to the l canvas, so that a saving not only of cost but of time is effected by their use, as described.
In some eases, and with some qualities of cloth, a thin glue sizing may be advantageously applied to the fabric before applying the dyes thereto; but this is not essential to the success of the work.
The fabric thus painted or dyed remains perfectly flexible, and may be rubbed or folded Without marring or injuring its coloring in the l least, and when crumpled or creased may be readily stretched, smoothed, or ironed out, so as to restore it fully to its original condition.
3o It may be, therefore, closely packed in trunks or boxes for transportation, and by reason of its light Weight and small'bulk may be thus carried from place to place atea very low cost, While it remains clean, fresh, and unbroken. The coloring is, moreover, of a fresh, clean complexion, which lights up with more brillianey than scenery painted with pigments, and has also a translucent character, which may be utilized in producing striking moonlight, sunrise, and other similar effects.
In brief, my invention,as compared with the scenery ordinarily in use in theaters, affords the decided advantages of very light weight, great pliability and flexibility, great durability and freedom from injury under ordinary Wear and tear, and of economy in cost of material and labor of production, aswell as in cost of transportation, and will not soil the dresses of the performers.
I claim as my invention- 5o Flexible scenery for theatrical purposes, consisting of a light, )liable textile fabric, in conibination With aniline dyes appliedv thereto, ISubstantially in the manner and for the purpose herein set forth. 5 5
In testimony whereof I have signed my name to this specification.
LAFAYETTE XV. SEAVEY.
J. F. ACKER, Jr., A. B. MooRE.