The Antebellum Popular Discourse on Mechanization

Stephen P. Rice

in Minding the Machine

Published by University of California Press

Published in print August 2004 | ISBN: 9780520227811
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520926578 | DOI:
The Antebellum Popular Discourse on Mechanization

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This chapter examines the popular discourse on mechanization in antebellum America. It explains that though the presence of machines in the workplace was by no means the dominant reality, the extent to which mechanization figured in popular discussion outstripped its actual pace in the workplace. Men and women discussed new machinery in newspapers, periodicals, lectures, and sermons and they frequently wrote and spoke as if the machine was present everywhere. One site of mechanized production that was widely discussed during the antebellum decades was the textile mill.

Keywords: mechanization; popular discourse; antebellum America; machines; textile mill

Chapter.  13683 words. 

Subjects: History of the Americas

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