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A new nation of goods :the material culture of early America /David Jaffee.

Collection Type
Jaffee, David.
Philadelphia : University of Pennsylvania Press
Publisher Series
Early American studies
Early American studies.
Painters and patrons -- The village enlightenment -- Cosmopolitan communities -- Itinerants and inventors -- A tale of two chairmaking towns -- Provincial portraits -- Daguerreotypes : the industrial image.
In the middle of the nineteenth century, middle-class Americans embraced a new culture of domestic consumption, one that centered on chairs and clocks as well as family portraits and books. How did that new world of goods, represented by Victorian parlors filled with overstuffed furniture and daguerreotype portraits, come into being? This work highlights the significant role of provincial artisans in four crafts in the northeastern United States, chairmaking, clockmaking, portrait painting, and book publishing, to explain the shift from preindustrial society to an entirely new configuration of work, commodities, and culture. As a whole, the book proposes an innovative analysis of early nineteenth century industrialization and the development of a middle class consumer culture. It relies on many of the objects beloved by decorative arts scholars and collectors to evoke the vitality of village craft production and culture in the decades after the War of Independence. It grounds its broad narrative of cultural change in case studies of artisans, consumers, and specific artifacts. Each chapter opens with an "object lesson" and weaves an object based analysis together with the richness of individual lives. The path that such craftspeople and consumers took was not inevitable; on the contrary, as the author, a historian demonstrates, it was strewn with alternative outcomes, such as decentralized production with specialized makers. The book offers a collective biography of the post Revolutionary generation, gathering together the case studies of producers and consumers who embraced these changes, those who opposed them, or, most significantly, those who fashioned the myriad small changes that coalesced into a new Victorian cultural order that none of them had envisioned or entirely appreciated.
xv, 400 p., [8] p. of plates : ill. (some col.) ; 27 cm.
Includes bibliographical references and index.
Received 2011; T190.
0812242572 (hardcover : acid-free paper)
9780812242577 (hardcover : acid-free paper)
Call Number
Coll. F12.C7 J34 2010 c. 2
Stacks F12.C7 J34 2010 c. 1
Descriptive terms
Artisans History 19th century.
Community life History 19th century.
Consumption (Economics) History 19th century.
Industrialization History 19th century.
Material culture History 19th century.
Middle class History 19th century.
Social change History 19th century.
Social conditions 19th century.
Social life and customs 19th century.
Villages History 19th century.
Connecticut River Valley