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Early American Technology Making and Doing Things from the Colonial Era to 1850

ISBN-10: 0807844845
ISBN-13: 9780807844847
Edition: 1994
Authors: Judith A. McGaw
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Description: This collection of original essays documents technology's centrality to the history of early America. Unlike much previous scholarship, this volume emphasizes the quotidian rather than the exceptional: the farm household seeking to preserve food or  More...

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Book details

List price: $47.50
Copyright year: 1994
Publisher: University of North Carolina Press
Publication date: 11/18/1994
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 494
Size: 6.12" wide x 9.25" long x 1.24" tall
Weight: 1.694
Language: English

This collection of original essays documents technology's centrality to the history of early America. Unlike much previous scholarship, this volume emphasizes the quotidian rather than the exceptional: the farm household seeking to preserve food or acquire tools, the surveyor balancing economic and technical considerations while laying out a turnpike, the woman of child-bearing age employing herbal contraceptives, and the neighbors of a polluted urban stream debating issues of property, odor, and health. These cases and others drawn from brewing, mining, farming, and woodworking enable the authors to address recent historiographic concerns, including the environmental aspects of technological change and the gendered nature of technical knowledge. Brooke Hindle's classic 1966 essay on early American technology is also reprinted, and his view of the field is reassessed. A bibliographical essay and summary of Hindle's bibliographic findings conclude the volume. The contributors are Judith A. McGaw, Robert C. Post, Susan E. Klepp, Michal McMahon, Patrick W. O'Bannon, Sarah F. McMahon, Donald C. Jackson, Robert B. Gordon, Carolyn C. Cooper, and Nina E. Lerman.

Judith A. McGaw is associate professor of the history of technology at the University of Pennsylvania. She is author of Most Wonderful Machine: Mechanization and Social Change in Berkshire Paper Making, 1801-1885.

Preface
Introduction: The Experience of Early American Technology
Technology in Early America: A View from the 1990s
The Exhilaration of Early American Technology: An Essay
Lost, Hidden, Obstructed, and Repressed: Contraceptive and Abortive Technology in the Early Delaware Valley
"Publick Service" versus "Mans Properties": Dock Creek and the Origins of Urban Technology in Eighteenth-Century Philadelphia
Inconsiderable Progress: Commercial Brewing in Philadelphia before 1840
Laying Foods By: Gender, Dietary Decisions, and the Technology of Food Preservation in New England Households, 1750-1850
Roads Most Traveled: Turnpikes in Southeastern Pennsylvania in the Early Republic
Custom and Consequence: Early Nineteenth-Century Origins of the Environmental and Social Costs of Mining Anthracite
A Patent Transformation: Woodworking Mechanization in Philadelphia, 1830-1856
"So Much Depends upon a Red Wheelbarrow": Agricultural Tool Ownership in the Eighteenth-Century Mid-Atlantic
Books on Early American Technology, 1966-1991
Appendix: Brooke Hindle's pre-1966 Bibliography
Index
Notes on the Contributors

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