Analysis

  • Exterior view of a building from across a dirt street.
    Record crops and searching the records: digging deep in the archives
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    Here we return to our case study of Annie Williams, Welsh immigrant to Canada and inventor of a skirt elevator system. This time we're reflecting on the sources we used and some of the highs and lows of trying to...
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  • Screenshot from the drawings section of a patent document. Below Annie's name and the patent details are a side view of a skirt with the elevator device installed, and a close-up of the cords and plates that lift the hem of the skirt.
    Being ahead of the storm: emigration, invention and settler life
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    In this first of a series of blog posts we're going to share some of our research relating to one Annie Williams. Annie held multiple patents for a skirt elevator (also known as a skirt lifter) that she invented. Here...
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  • Clothing design details from Unhidden
    Adaptive Clothing: What is it and Who is it For?
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    Adaptive Design Details by Unhidden Clothing. The fashion industry is infamously fixated on able-bodies and youth, and does not typically cater to different age groups, body types and cognitive/physical requirements. Adaptive clothing is different. It is designed with disabled people...
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  • Some Thoughts on the FACE OFF Symposium
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    Last week, the POP team had the pleasure of attending the Face Off: The Provocations and Possibilities of Masks and Head Coverings online symposium hosted by the Manchester Fashion Institute at Manchester Metropolitan University. For two days, academics, artists and fashion practitioners from the US,...
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  • I spy with my little eye…
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    Surveillance is deeply embedded in our everyday life experiences. ‘Thanks’ to the democratization of surveillance, a plethora of tracking devices are cheaply and readily available to consumers; from phones, smart watches and home surveillance cameras to video baby and pet monitors. Many...
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  • Advisory Board #1
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    The POP team met with our Advisory Board (AB) for our first big project review in November. Large projects often have an advisory board made up of experts in their field/s. In our case this is STS, feminist/ gender studies,...
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  • Sporty Bodies & Wearable Tech
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    In our exploration of citizenship and wearable technology, sport and clothing for exercise are emerging as an important area not only because of the large number of available patents. Sport and citizenship are closely connected. International professional sporting competitions like world championships or the Olympic...
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  • The politics of male underwear
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    What can we learn by researching the inventive histories of men's underwear? While the world is eagerly watching the battle of two powerful white men over the USA, we in the POP team have turned to male underwear patents to...
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  • Clothing the “Perfect” Mother?
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    During and following the (first) UK lockdown in March, there has been much discussion over childcare. Specifically, debates centred around what the ‘staying at home’ policy and the closure of schools meant for both children and those caring for them....
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  • A Time-Travellers Pocket: What secrets do 200 years of pockets hold?
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    Can we map citizens by their pockets? Not in terms of what is IN their pockets (though this is super interesting too) but by the changing shape, position and purpose of pockets. Are there really that many pockets? How many...
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  • The Politics of Underwear: Chasing the moving nipple
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    Following my work in the POP project on patented underwear via our regular Skype meetings, my mother called me the other day: “I found an article on bras!” She was full of excitement. The Hungarian article referred to bras as...
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  • Beaches, Bodies & Bathing Couture: Who gets to show off what & where?
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    Every year come springtime, lifestyle magazines, TV programs and online features dish out advice on ‘how to get beach body ready’ in anticipation for the summer months spent lounging on the beach, frolicking in the sea or, at the very...
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  • The ‘evil’ that is the corset
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    For those of us privileged and lucky enough to be working from home (WFH) in the last couple of months of the pandemic, wearing the possibly most comfortable clothes has been a commonplace practice. Social media is full of images...
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  • Care, surveillance & the monitoring of childhood
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    "Naughty, romping girls and boys tear their clothes and make a noise…" - Hoffmann’s (1845) Der Struwwelpeter As a child I was deeply fascinated by the old German book written by Heinrich Hoffmann (1845): Der Struwwelpeter. Although this is a...
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  • Policing & the Politics of Protection
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    As hundreds of thousands of protesters around the world have joined the rallying cry of the Black Lives Matter movement since late May, protesters in casual clothing have been regularly met by police in full riot gear. These uniforms usually...
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  • We have been inventing PPE for centuries. But who gets protected?
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    The classic image of the French plague doctor with the beak mask has been circulating on social media. The proboscis, filled with herbs and spices, apparently safeguarded the wearer from poisonous air borne particles or miasma. While there’s little evidence...
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  • Learning, Living & Feeling with BIG Data
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    Click, Click, Click, Click. Cut and paste. Jump screens. Cut and paste. Scroll. Click, Click, Cut and paste. Scroll. Deep breath in. Jump screens. Scroll. Cut and paste. Exhale. Click, Click, Click, Click. [This post is by Kat and Claudia]...
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  • POP data – where does it come from?
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    "Writing is a movement of imagination. On the page we take our readers to places, often to situations where our research has led us, to things we have seen and people we have listened to." - Les Back This blog...
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