Material Culture in America: Understanding Everyday Life

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9781576076477: Material Culture in America: Understanding Everyday Life
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The first encyclopedia to look at the study of material culture (objects, images, spaces technology, production, and consumption), and what it reveals about historical and contemporary life in the United States.


· Nearly 200 entries tracing the history, production, consumption, and reception of various types of goods and exploring the uses and meanings of artifacts within changing social, cultural, economic, and political contexts

· A detailed introductory essay unites each entry with a common thread

· Contributions from over 50 scholars, curators, and teachers working in the field of material culture studies today, representing cutting-edge scholarship in museums and historical societies, universities and colleges

· Illustrations include advertisements, such as a 19th-century trade card and a Singer sewing machine ad, plus photographs of a 1949 "Torpedo pedal car" and a life-size modernist-style streamlined locomotive prototype by Raymond Loewy

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Book Description:

You can tell a lot about people by looking at their stuff—the things they make, possess, think, and value. That is the idea that drives the field of material culture, in which scholars explore the meaning of objects of a given society. And nowhere are those meanings more revealing than in the material culture of the United States.

About the Author:

Helen Sheumaker, PhD, is associate professor of American studies and coordinator of museum education at the William Holmes McGuffey Museum at Miami University, Oxford, OH.

Shirley Teresa Wajda, PhD, teaches in the Department of History at Kent State University, Kent, OH. She is also coordinator of the American studies program.

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