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The US Copyright Office of The Library of Congress


Well, by now you will have an idea about how pirates worked. And did each and every serious photographer just take this stealing for granted? No, not every one.

There was the US Copyright Office of the Library of Congress. When you stated your work there it was officially protected for about 30 years. And any violator could be sued……. at least that is if you could find that violator and afford organizing legal support!




George Barker from Niagara Falls N.Y. was a prize winning photographer. He loudly stated this pride on some of his cards.

It will have been this pride that took George - on February 3, 1893 - down to this place.



This is the Library of Congress, where one can find the US Copyright Office. He took with him the view below. He got it registered under # 42674 X 2. An example of the view was kept at the Office as a duplicate. And you know what? This is that very duplicate view! This absolutely mint view remained at the US Copyright Office for decades. And now we can show it to you!


Niagara – Clifford Calverly crossing on a 3-4 inch wire in 1892

The stamp says: Library of Congress – Copyright  Feb 3 1893 – City of Washington


Did George Barker only print “copyright” on the view mount. In order to impress pirates, M. Griswold printed quite an impressive announcement, appealing to greater authority. Which – of course - didn’t work.


M. Griswold – Young Folks’ Series – “B stands for Bumble Bee


George Griffith used another technique. He added a copyright announcement to the photo print, which makes it somewhat harder to copy. But - of course - not for the smart pirate, that just covered it before copying.


Copyrighted 1892 – How Biddy served the tomatoes undressed. We guess this is

the most scrounged and copied scene of all stereoviews!


And this is just one last example from the treasure files of The Library of Congress. This view was photographed by Dr. Mills of Penn Yan, N.Y.


“The Fish that made a Desperate Leap for a Boy”

You see Mrs. Florence Ione Morse - widow of Myron Morse - with her little son Harry.

These two had quite an adventure. On August 27, 1873 they were fishing from a boat,

when suddenly an eight pound trout leaped out of the water and headed for the boy’s

nose. But luckily all ends well! The story appeared in many newspapers. And Dr. Mills

must have thought he could earn a nice dollar by copyrighting the photo that he made

of all the key players in this stunning drama! It was copyrighted in 1873.  And you are

looking at the very proof example that was stored at the Library of Congress for many

years!!                                                                                                                                    .



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