Download e-book for iPad: America Calling: A Social History of the Telephone to 1940 by Claude S. Fischer

By Claude S. Fischer

ISBN-10: 0520086473

ISBN-13: 9780520086470

The phone looms huge in our lives, as ever found in glossy societies as automobiles and tv. Claude Fischer provides the 1st social historical past of this important yet little-studied technology--how we encountered, validated, and eventually embraced it with enthusiasm. utilizing cell advertisements, oral histories, mobile correspondence, and statistical info, Fischer's paintings is a colourful exploration of the way, whilst, and why american citizens all started speaking during this substantially new manner.Studying 3 California groups, Fischer uncovers how the phone turned built-in into the personal worlds and neighborhood actions of standard american citizens within the first many years of this century. ladies have been specifically avid of their use, a phenomenon which the first vigorously discouraged after which later wholeheartedly promoted. time and again Fischer reveals that the phone supported a wide-ranging community of social kin and performed a very important position in group lifestyles, particularly 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 an incredible new bankruptcy to the social heritage of our state and illuminates a primary element of cultural modernism that's critical to modern existence.

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

Sample text

The younger informants whom we interviewed often gave social reasons for their parents' decision to subscribe to telephone service around the 1920s. One woman in San Rafael recalled that her parents got a telephone after World War I only because the children wanted it to talk to their friends. Another San Rafaelian explained that his father subscribed because they were too isolatedboth for emergencies and for the youngsters' dating. ) Families headed by white-collar workers were likelier to subscribe than those headed by blue-collar workers.

Another is that telephone diffusion may have topped out. That is, as more people subscribed in the 1920s, those who did not  < previous page < previous page page_146 page_147 next page > next page > Page 147 were increasingly "hard-core" nonsubscribers. Or, adapting the argument of Chapter 4 concerning farmers, perhaps by the 1930s, people who had not yet subscribed looked at their automobiles and radios, checked their shriveled pocketbooks, and decided that a personal telephone was not that important.

Similarly, radio frequencies became privately owned franchises broadcasting commercially sponsored entertainment in the United States because of social conditions and political arguments specific to this country. )38 This perspective brings us closer to incorporating end users into the analysis. Carolyn Marvin, for example, describes debates among electrical experts of the late nineteenth century about the social implications of lights and telephones and what ought to be done to manage those implications.

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


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