Download America Calling: A Social History of the Telephone to 1940 by Claude S. Fischer PDF

By Claude S. Fischer

The phone looms huge in our lives, as ever found in smooth societies as automobiles and tv. Claude Fischer provides the 1st social heritage of this important yet little-studied technology--how we encountered, established, and eventually embraced it with enthusiasm. utilizing mobilephone advertisements, oral histories, phone correspondence, and statistical facts, Fischer's paintings is a colourful exploration of the way, while, and why americans began speaking during this greatly new manner.Studying 3 California groups, Fischer uncovers how the phone grew to become built-in into the non-public worlds and neighborhood actions of commonplace americans within the first a long time of this century. ladies have been specially avid of their use, a phenomenon which the first vigorously discouraged after which later wholeheartedly promoted. repeatedly Fischer unearths that the phone supported a wide-ranging community of social family members and performed an important position in group lifestyles, specifically for girls, from organizing kid's relationships and church actions to assuaging the loneliness and tedium of rural life.Deftly written and meticulously researched, the USA Calling provides an incredible new bankruptcy to the social historical past of our kingdom and illuminates a primary point of cultural modernism that's necessary to modern lifestyles.

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Additional info for America Calling: A Social History of the Telephone to 1940

Sample text

But] if there had been no railway to conquer distances, my child never would have left his native town and I should need no telephone to hear his voice. . " (translated by James Strachey, Norton edition, 1962, p. 35).  < previous page < previous page page_15 page_150 next page > next page > Page 150 Figure 12.  Those other adults who supported telephone subscription were disproportionately women. adults, not adult earners, who seemed to matter. ) At least two important implications follow.

In 1913, for example, the Sisters of the Antioch Congregational Church offered automobile rides as a fund-raising entertainment. "The auto 'rubber-neck' tours were popular pastimes and the cars . . "38 The news, of course, included serious matters. ** Citizens argued among themselves over the regulation of motorists, particularly speeders. In the Depression, for example, Palo Alto residents pressed the police to crack down on speeders, but the merchants worried that heavy enforcement would discourage business.

Or take housework. Ruth Cowan has persuasively argued that some household appliances brought functions into the home and others extruded functions * Other problems include the difficulty any other observer would have in distinguishing a focal thing from a device, the evident subjectivity of the distinction. As in many other cultural critiques, we have a catalog of class prejudices. Violins, Borgmann claims, are focal, because he presumably can play and enjoy them; the operations of stereos are alienating mysteries.

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