The Horse in the City: Living Machines in the Nineteenth Century

The Horse in the City: Living Machines in the Nineteenth Century

by Clay McShane, Joel Tarr

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The nineteenth century was the golden age of the horse. In urban America, the indispensable horse provided the power for not only vehicles that moved freight, transported passengers, and fought fires but also equipment in breweries, mills, foundries, and machine shops.

Clay McShane and Joel A. Tarr, prominent scholars of American urban life, here explore the critical role that the horse played in the growing nineteenth-century metropolis. Using such diverse sources as veterinary manuals, stable periodicals, teamster magazines, city newspapers, and agricultural yearbooks, they examine how the horses were housed and fed and how workers bred, trained, marketed, and employed their four-legged assets. Not omitting the problems of waste removal and corpse disposal, they touch on the municipal challenges of maintaining a safe and productive living environment for both horses and people and the rise of organizations like the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.

In addition to providing an insightful account of life and work in nineteenth-century urban America, The Horse in the City brings us to a richer understanding of how the animal fared in this unnatural and presumably uncomfortable setting.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780801892318
Publisher: Johns Hopkins University Press
Publication date: 07/16/2007
Series: Animals, History, Culture
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 280
Sales rank: 652,059
File size: 12 MB
Note: This product may take a few minutes to download.
Age Range: 18 Years

About the Author

Clay McShane teaches history at Northeastern University. Joel A. Tarr is the Richard S. Caliguiri University Professor at Carnegie Mellon University. In 2008, he received the Leonardo da Vinci Medal for lifetime achievement from the Society for the History of Technology.

Table of Contents

Introduction: Thinking about Horses
1. Markets: The Urban Horse as a Commodity
2. Regulation: Controlling Horses and Their Humans
3. Powering Urban Transit
4. The Horse and Leisure: Serving the Needs of Different Urban Social Groups
5. Stables and the Built Environment
6. Nutrition: Feeding the Urban Horse
7. Health: Equine Disease and Mortality
8. The Decline and Persistence of the Urban Horse
Epilogue: The Horse, the Car, and the City

What People are Saying About This

Kenneth T. Jackson

"In this careful and richly textured book, Clay McShane and Joel Tarr have shown us how these beasts of burden helped create the modern metropolis and then disappeared from the city streets."

Susan D. Jones

"A fascinating account of the role of horses in shaping the economy and society of American cities during the nineteenth century that contributes greatly to the fields of urban history, environmental history, and the history of human-animal relationships. "

Martin V. Melosi

"This innovative and fascinating book goes to the heart of new research that connects the human and animal worlds as never before. In presenting the horse as a ‘living machine,’ McShane and Tarr help us rethink how cities were built and how they functioned in the past."

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