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America Calling : A Social History of the Telephone to 1940

America Calling : A Social History of the Telephone to 1940 - 92 edition

ISBN13: 978-0520086470

Cover of America Calling : A Social History of the Telephone to 1940 92 (ISBN 978-0520086470)
ISBN13: 978-0520086470
ISBN10: 0520086473
Cover type: Paperback
Edition/Copyright: 92
Publisher: University of California Press
Published: 1992
International: No

List price: $31.95

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America Calling : A Social History of the Telephone to 1940 - 92 edition

ISBN13: 978-0520086470

Claide S. Fischer

ISBN13: 978-0520086470
ISBN10: 0520086473
Cover type: Paperback
Edition/Copyright: 92
Publisher: University of California Press

Published: 1992
International: No
Summary

The telephone looms large in our lives, as ever present in modern societies as cars and television. Claude Fischer presents the first social history of this vital but little-studied technology--how we encountered, tested, and ultimately embraced it with enthusiasm. Using telephone ads, oral histories, telephone industry correspondence, and statistical data, Fischer's work is a colorful exploration of how, when, and why Americans started communicating in this radically new manner. Studying three California communities, Fischer uncovers how the telephone became integrated into the private worlds and community activities of average Americans in the first decades of this century. Women were especially avid in their use, a phenomenon which the industry first vigorously discouraged and then later wholeheartedly promoted. Again and again Fischer finds that the telephone supported a wide-ranging network of social relations and played a crucial role in community life, especially for women, from organizing children's relationships and church activities to alleviating the loneliness and boredom of rural life. Deftly written and meticulously researched, America Calling adds an important new chapter to the social history of our nation and illuminates a fundamental aspect of cultural modernism that is integral to contemporary life.

Table of Contents

Ch. 1. Technology and Modern Life
Ch. 2. The Telephone in America
Ch. 3. Educating the Public
Ch. 4. The Telephone Spreads: National Patterns
Ch. 5. The Telephone Spreads: Local Patterns
Ch. 6. Becoming Commonplace
Ch. 7. Local Attachment, 1890-1940
Ch. 8. Personal Calls, Personal Meanings
Ch. 9. Conclusion
Appendix A Bibliographic Essay
Appendix B Statistical Analyses of Telephone and Automobile Distribution
Appendix C Telephone Subscription among Iowa Farmers, 1924
Appendix D Summary of Expenditure Studies by Household Income or Occupation
Appendix E The 1918-1919 Cost of Living Study
Appendix F Who Had the Telephone When?
Appendix G Analysis of Advertisement Data
Appendix H Statistical Analyses for Chapter 7
Notes
Bibliography
Index

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