2 October 2015

The Day Andrew got the Good News!

April 5, 1878.  That is the day that Andrew got the good news.  He was granted a provisional patent for 6 months.

Andrew Smith Tait, my 2x great-grandfather, was born in Glasgow.  After his initial apprenticeship, and before the census of 1861 Andrew moved to Liverpool to learn everything there was to know about being a tailor. 

On the 23rd of March in 1878, with a light breeze in the air and cloudy skies, Andrew left his shop at 31 Islington Street and headed to the Patent office to submit his idea to make men's trousers fit better, and to incorporate a secret pocket!

The first paragraph reads: 

PROVISIONAL SPECIFICATION left by Andrew Tait at the Office of the Commissioners of Patents on the 23rd March 1878.


      My Invention relates to a novel construction of the sides of the waist of men's trowsers or pantaloons, whereby a secret or safety pocket is constructed on one or both sides of the waist of the said trowsers or pantaloons, and at the same time a great improvement is made in the fitting of the trowser by the "cramping" or gathering in being performed at the sides of the waist instead of at the back thereof.

The rest goes on to say how he makes the pocket and why it is useful.
A "provisional patent" is relatively cheap and only good for a short time (usually 6 months to a year).  With this he can mark his product "patent pending". It protects the idea of the inventor for a short time while he can get together the drawings and paperwork for the regular patent, which can cost 3 or more times as much.  
He was granted a provisional patent for 6 months on the 5th April 1878.

In 1893 the Tait's were living in Bath and Andrew's 2 sons, William and Andrew were running the tailoring business.  That year this advertisement was in every paper for miles around, and were all for "Tait's Patent Trousers"... so he must have applied for a regular patent? I have as yet found no documents for that.

Years later in the early to mid 1900's other tailors in the USA built on what Andrew started and applied for patents of their version of a secret pocket.

Andrew Smith Tait: b1838 in Glasgow to Alexander Falconer Tait and Janet Smith
my 2x great-grandfather

Son William Tait, b1874 in West Derby, Liverpool
Son Andrew Eli Walter Tait, b1879 in West Derby, Liverpool

Related Post:  Beyond the BMD: Whose Bright Idea Was That?


  1. Okay let's see if I can post now :D That is fantastic news to have in our roots Dianne - will think of that when I am folding or hanging up pants :D

  2. Great information and a great blog. James Tait and Katherine Lammont (Lamount) are my ancestors also. My great grandfather (their 3x great grandson) came to Canada from Scotland in 1888 and was a tailor.
    I would like to do some blogging...you are indeed an inspiration!
    Bob from Manitoba

  3. Thanks. We should get together and compare notes.

  4. Thanks. We should get together and compare notes.


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