By Claude S. Fischer
The phone looms huge in our lives, as ever found in smooth societies as autos and tv. Claude Fischer offers the 1st social heritage of this important yet little-studied technology--how we encountered, proven, and eventually embraced it with enthusiasm. utilizing phone advertisements, oral histories, cell correspondence, and statistical facts, Fischer's paintings is a colourful exploration of ways, while, and why american citizens all started speaking during this noticeably 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 american citizens within the first a long time of this century. ladies have been in particular avid of their use, a phenomenon which the first vigorously discouraged after which later wholeheartedly promoted. many times Fischer unearths that the phone supported a wide-ranging community of social kin and performed an important function in neighborhood lifestyles, specially 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 United States Calling provides a massive new bankruptcy to the social background of our state and illuminates a basic point of cultural modernism that's fundamental to modern lifestyles.
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Additional resources for America Calling: A Social History of the Telephone to 1940
Previous page < previous page page_154 page_155 next page > next page > Page 155 PhotoÂ 3. ) 48 49 PhotoÂ 4. ) Â < previous page < previous page page_155 page_156 next page > next page > Page 156 PhotoÂ 5. ) 49 50 PhotoÂ 6. ) Â < previous page < previous page page_156 page_157 next page > next page > Page 157 PhotoÂ 7. ThisÂ 1905Â advertisementÂ typifiesÂ telephoneÂ companies'Â earlyÂ argumentsÂ forÂ havingÂ a household telephone:Â thatÂ theÂ ladyÂ ofÂ theÂ houseÂ couldÂ moreÂ easilyÂ manageÂ herÂ domestic sphereÂ withÂ aÂ telephone.
The story of the automobile in our three communities is similar to that of many towns in the United States. Commonly, the first serious notice of the automobile came when wealthy "scorchers" raced through, frightening horses, scattering pedestrians and livestock, tearing up gravel roads, and littering the countryside. 46 Soon, however, town notables were tooling about in the latest models. 47 Several subsequent developments, from about 1910 to 1930falling prices, improving performance, better roads, credit financing, advertisingaccelerated the diffusion of the automobile described in Chapter 4.
What makes a technology either mundane or remarkable is not evident. The scale of its consequences may make but a modest contribution to its notoriety. One could, for example, credit food canning, refrigeration, and sewage treatment with significantly extending Americans' lives and yet these technologies go almost unmentioned in general discussions of modernization. The automobile was (and is) much more noticeable and notorious than the telephone. In economic, political, and even mythic ways, the automobile was, by all appearances, more important.