By Claude S. Fischer

The phone looms huge in our lives, as ever found in glossy societies as autos and tv. Claude Fischer offers the 1st social heritage of this important yet little-studied technology--how we encountered, confirmed, and finally embraced it with enthusiasm. utilizing phone advertisements, oral histories, phone correspondence, and statistical information, Fischer's paintings is a colourful exploration of ways, whilst, and why americans all started speaking during this appreciably new manner.Studying 3 California groups, Fischer uncovers how the phone grew to become built-in into the non-public worlds and neighborhood actions of standard american citizens within the first a long time of this century. ladies have been specifically avid of their use, a phenomenon which the first vigorously discouraged after which later wholeheartedly promoted. repeatedly Fischer reveals that the phone supported a wide-ranging community of social family and performed a vital function in group existence, specially for ladies, 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 a big new bankruptcy to the social historical past of our kingdom and illuminates a basic point of cultural modernism that's crucial to modern lifestyles.

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Extra info for America Calling: A Social History of the Telephone to 1940

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For example, farmers' use of the automobile may have simultaneously solidified rural communities by increasing local interaction and weakened them by allowing farm families to tour distant locales. And use of the automobile may have increased the social mobility of blacks in the South more than that of whites. 35 Another dubious corollary is that technology has cumulative effects: The more of the cause, the more of the consequence; for example, the more powerful computers are, the more "placelessness" there is, to use Meyerowitz's term.

Instead, struggles and negotiations among interested 52 53 parties shape that history. Inventors, investors, competitors, organized customers, agencies of government, the media, and others conflict over how an innovation will develop. The outcome is a particular definition and a structure for the new technology, perhaps even a "reinvention" of the device. The story could always have been otherwise if the struggles had proceeded differently. That is why the same devices may have different histories and uses in different nations.

Previous page < previous page page_140 page_141 next page > next page > Page 141 in 1919, and responded by seeking regulation against wildcat jitneys in the 1920s. The boatmen eventually succumbed, and the last firms consolidated their holdings into two luxury steamers. 44 The automobile itself became a major business, spawning dealerships, service stations, repair shops, and so forth. The number of garages on San Rafael's Fourth Street grew so rapidly that the city council started denying permits in 1925.

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