American Home Life, 1880-1930: A Social History of Spaces and Services

American Home Life, 1880-1930: A Social History of Spaces and Services


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American Home Life, 1880-1930: A Social History of Spaces and Services by Jessica H. Foy

In the pivotal decades around the turn of the century, American domestic life underwent dramatic alteration. From backstairs to front stairs, spaces and the activities within them were radically affected by shifts in the larger social and material environments. This volume, while taking account of architecture and decoration, moves us beyond the study of buildings to the study of behaviors, particularly the behaviors of those who peopled the middle-class, single-family, detached American home between 1880 and 1930. The book's contributors study transformations in services (such as home utilities of power, heat, light, water, and waste removal), in servicing (for example, the impact of home appliances such as gas and electric ranges, washing machines, and refrigerators), and in serving (changes in domestic servants' duties, hours of work, racial and ethnic backgrounds). In blending intellectual and home history, these essays both examine and exemplify the perennial American enthusiasm for, as well as anxiety about, the meaning of modernity.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780870498558
Publisher: University of Tennessee Press
Publication date: 08/01/1994
Edition description: 1
Pages: 224
Product dimensions: 6.13(w) x 9.25(h) x 1.00(d)

Table of Contents

Introduction: American Homes and American Scholars1
Part I.Room Life
1.The Modern Look of the Early Twentieth-Century House: A Mirror of Changing Lifestyles25
2.The Decline of the Memory Palace: The Parlor after 189049
3.Children in the House, 1890 to 193075
4.Home Libraries: Special Spaces, Reading Places94
5.A History of American Beds and Bedrooms, 1890-1930120
Part II.Home Life
6."The Family That Plays Together Stays Together": Family Pastimes and Indoor Amusements, 1890-1930145
7.Parlor Piety: The Home as Sacred Space in Protestant America162
8.Gardens of Change190
Part III.Keeping House
9.Coal Stoves and Clean Sinks: Housework between 1890 and 1930211
10.Conduits and Conduct: Home Utilities in Victorian America, 1876-1915225
11.Modernizing Domestic Service242

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