Download Material Culture in America: Understanding Everyday Life by Shirley Wajda, Helen Sheumaker PDF

By Shirley Wajda, Helen Sheumaker

Reaching again four hundred years, fabric existence in the US: An Encyclopedia is the 1st reference displaying what the learn of fabric tradition unearths approximately American society—revelations now not obtainable via conventional assets and methods.

In approximately 2 hundred entries, the encyclopedia lines the background of artifacts, strategies and ideas, industries, peoples and cultures, cultural productions, old forces, sessions and types, spiritual and secular rituals and traditions, and lots more and plenty extra. every body from researchers and curators to scholars and common readers will locate instance after instance of the way the gadgets and environments created or altered by means of people show as a lot approximately American existence as diaries, files, and texts.

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By the end of the seventeenth century the dwelling of a well-to-do “gentleman farmer” might have eight to ten rooms, including a parlor, and a variety of other structures for various purposes; over the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, plantation owners’ houses grew steadily more imposing and elaborate. Although on small farms slaves sometimes lived in their owners’ houses, the estates of the elite were arranged to etch clear architectural distinc- ABC-CLIO 1-800-368-6868 M A T E R I A L C U LT U R E I N A M E R I C A 17 Agricultural Architecture tions between elegant main houses and the outbuildings, a category comprising the actual farmers’ dwellings.

So the Berkshire society pursued a state subsidy and received $200 in 1817. When the Massachusetts, New Hampshire, and New York legislatures began to subsidize all of their states’ agricultural societies two years later, fairs (as the shows were increasingly called) further developed in the region. State subsidies were unreliable; agricultural societies and fairs multiplied when funds were provided, and they became inactive, or died, when they were not. But in the long run growth was enormous. Initially local, fairs broadened their messages and their audiences after 1838, when the New York State Agricultural Society attempted the nation’s first state fair.

By the 1700s those commercial fairs were supplanted by agricultural shows, such as the one that the Society of Improvers in the Knowledge of Agriculture began in 1723 in Edinburgh, Scotland. The new shows were not without buying and selling, but they focused on innovations, especially new breeds of sheep, and competitions among exhibitors for prizes, or premiums. Early History of American Agricultural and State Fairs Those new events, which would take the old name fair from the early nineteenth century onward, spread west of the Atlantic soon after the American Revolution.

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