My interest in old plans goes back several decades. I was always looking for plans to build things that I wanted, and I found that many plans were available in old copies of magazines such as Mechanix Illustrated, Science And Mechanics and other magazines of this type. I amassed a collection of hundreds of old plans from these sources over the years.
Then I found that most of these plans and articles which were published before 1964 were copyright expired and in the public domain, since their copyright had not been renewed prior to expiry. All material published in the USA prior to 1923 is also in the public domain without exception. This simply means that they are no longer copyright, and can be used by anyone for any purpose. This includes not only printed material but audio and videos also. They can be copied and resold or republished in any form. They can not be copyrighted by anyone in their original form, but a new version can be copyrighted if significant changes are made to the original material.
In 1964 copyright laws changed in the USA and publications after that year remain copyright for much longer in most cases. There are some publications up to 1978 which are in the public domain however.
In order to avoid any copyright problems I only republish material which was originally copyrighted prior to 1964, and which is now definitely in the public domain as established by checking with the US copyright office which can be done online.
At my website Vintage Plans I am republishing and making available free copies of many of these plans. This will be an ongoing work which will take some time to complete. In fact it will probably never be complete as new material becomes available all the time from various sources.
I will also be republishing freely available copies of many plans, articles,and other material dating back into the 1800s and in some cases even further back. There are many really interesting old plans and instructive articles etc available from this period.
My website went online this week with a selection of plans, and more will be added on a daily basis, or at least several times weekly as time allows. Check back frequently and you will find new material there at http://www.vintageplans.org.If you have any comments or questions you can leave them in comments on this blog. I hope that many people will find these old plans and articles interesting and of use to them. The price is right anyway since they are all free. So help yourself to the PDF downloads which are on the site.
Go now to Vintage Plans and check out what is available totally free. Please leave your comments below or ask a question if you want to.