The Corporate Eye: Photography and the Rationalization of American Commercial Culture, 1884-1929

The Corporate Eye: Photography and the Rationalization of American Commercial Culture, 1884-1929

by Elspeth H. Brown
     
 

Winner, Association of American Publishers' Professional and Scholarly Publishing Award in Business, Management and Accounting

The Corporate Eye examines the intersection of photography as a mass technology with corporate concerns about efficiency in the Progressive period. Discussing the work of, among others, Frederick W. Taylor, Eadweard Muybridge,

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Overview

Winner, Association of American Publishers' Professional and Scholarly Publishing Award in Business, Management and Accounting

The Corporate Eye examines the intersection of photography as a mass technology with corporate concerns about efficiency in the Progressive period. Discussing the work of, among others, Frederick W. Taylor, Eadweard Muybridge, Frank Gilbreth, and Lewis Hine, Elspeth H. Brown explores this intersection through a variety of examples, including racial discrimination in hiring, the problem of photographic realism, and the gendered assumptions at work in the origins of modern marketing. She concludes that the goal uniting the various forms and applications of photographic production in that era was the increased rationalization of the modern economy through a set of interlocking managerial innovations, technologies that sought to redesign not only industrial production but the modern subject itself.

"A highly welcome contribution to the field of business history as well as American visual culture."— Business History Review

"This highly readable, interdisciplinary book provides insights into both the history of American economic development and the history of photography."—Patricia Johnson, Afterimage

"A unique and interdisciplinary analysis of the intersection between visual and commercial culture in the USA."— History of Photography

" The Corporate Eye is American studies and interdisciplinary cultural history at its best."— Journal of American History

"This is a book whose 'big picture' is fully in focus."— Technology and Culture

"Meticulous research and rich contextualization... A welcome and imaginative addition to the history of visual technologies and commercial history."— Industrial Archaeology

Elspeth H. Brown is an associate professor of history at the University of Toronto and the director of the Centre for the Study of the United States, Munck Centre for International Studies, University of Toronto.

Johns Hopkins University Press

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Editorial Reviews

Business History Review

A highly welcome contribution to the field of business history as well as American visual culture.

Afterimage

This highly readable, interdisciplinary book provides insights into both the history of American economic development and the history of photography.

History of Photography

A unique and interdisciplinary analysis of the intersection between visual and commercial culture in the USA.

Journal of American History

The Corporate Eye is American studies and interdisciplinary cultural history at its best.

Technology and Culture

This is a book whose 'big picture' is fully in focus.

Industrial Archaeology

Meticulous research and rich contextualization... A welcome and imaginative addition to the history of visual technologies and commercial history.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780801880995
Publisher:
Johns Hopkins University Press
Publication date:
06/15/2005
Series:
Studies in Industry and Society
Pages:
348
Product dimensions:
6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 1.04(d)
Age Range:
18 Years

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What People are saying about this

Philip Scranton

Solidly grounded in the cultural, political and economic history of the Second Industrial Revolution, The Corporate Eye broadens and deepens our understanding of photography's significance to American enterprise. This work resonates critically and valuably with earlier, heralded studies by David Nye and Roland Marchand, among others, by exploring fresh terrains and refining conceptual frameworks.

Meet the Author

Elspeth H. Brown is an associate professor of history at the University of Toronto and the director of the Centre for the Study of the United States, Munck Centre for International Studies, University of Toronto.

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