The antebellum era and the close of the 19th century frame a period of great agricultural expansion. During this time, farmhouse plans designed by rural men and women regularly appeared in the flourishing Northern farm journals. This book analyzes these vital indicators of the work patterns, social interactions, and cultural values of the farm families of the time. Examining several hundred owner-designed plans, McMurry shows the ingenious ways in which "progressive" rural Americans designed farmhouses in keeping with their visions of a dynamic, reformed rural culture. From designs for efficient work spaces to a concern for self-contained rooms for adolescent children, this fascinating story of the evolution of progressive farmers' homes sheds new light on rural America's efforts to adapt to major changes brought by industrialization, urbanization, the consolidation of capitalist agriculture, and the rise of the consumer society.
Rural Life and Landscape in a Western Pennsylvania Community
Author: Sally Ann McMurry
Publisher: Penn State Press
Rural Pennsylvania's landscapes are evocative, richly textured testimonies to the lives and skills of generations of builders&—architects as well as local builders and craft workers. Farmhouses and barns, silos and fences, even field patterns attest to how residents over the years have had a sense of place that was not only functional but also comfortable and aesthetically appropriate for the time. From Sugar Camps to Star Barns tells the story of one such place, a landscape that evolved in southwestern Pennsylvania's Somerset County. Sally McMurry traces the rural life and landscape of Somerset County as it evolved from the earliest settlement days. Eighteenth-century residents were a forest people, living on sparsely built farmsteads and making free use of the heavily forested landscape. The makeshift sugar camp typified their hardscrabble lives. In the nineteenth century, the people of this area turned to farming. Prompted by the ''market revolution'' that had come to Somerset County, they pursued a highly varied agriculture, combining a subsistence base with robust production of commodities shipped to distant cities. Their landscape reflected this combination of the local and the cosmopolitan&—a combination that reached its full expression in the distinctive two-story banked farmhouse with double-decker porch, flanked by a substantial Pennsylvania barn. The twentieth century brought a more industrialized agriculture to Somerset County. But the shift to profit-and-loss farming also meant the accentuation of landscape elements specific to market products. The magnificent ''star barns'' of this era overshadowed the houses, and ancillary structures, such as ''peepy houses'' and silos, spoke to the pressures of efficiency and mass production. The subsequent rise of coal mining helped to stimulate this trend, both by supplying local markets and by creating an incentive for farmers to visually distinguish their landscapes from those of the coal-patch towns. Illustrated with over 100 photographs, maps, drawings, and diagrams, From Sugar Camps to Star Barns demonstrates how much we can learn about the economy and culture of a particular place simply by being attentive to the built landscape.
How Consumer Culture Took Root in the Rural Midwest
Author: David Blanke
Publisher: Ohio University Press
Category: Business & Economics
From 1840 to 1900, midwestern Americans experienced firsthand the profound economic, cultural, and structural changes that transformed the nation from a premodern, agrarian state to one that was urban, industrial, and economically interdependent. Midwestern commercial farmers found themselves at the heart of these changes. Their actions and reactions led to the formation of a distinctive and particularly democratic consumer ethos, which is still being played out today. By focusing on the consumer behavior of midwestern farmers, Sowing the American Dream provides illustrative examples of how Americans came to terms with the economic and ideological changes that swirled around them. From the formation of the Grange to the advent of mail-order catalogs, the buying patterns of rural midwesterners set the stage for the coming century. Carefully documenting the rise and fall of the powerful purchasing cooperatives, David Blanke explains the shifting trends in collective consumerism, which ultimately resulted in a significant change in the way that midwestern consumers pursued their own regional identity, community, and independence.
Dairying Families and Agricultural Change, 1820-1885
Author: Sally Ann McMurry
Category: Technology & Engineering
One of the many changes that fundamentally altered nineteenth-century agrarian life was the shift in the dairy industry from home to factory butter and cheesemaking. In the early nineteenth century virtually all such work took place on the family farm. But after about 1860, production began to move from farms to local "crossroads factories." In Transforming Rural Life Sally McMurry takes a new look at the underlying causes of this development and its implications for the dairying families who were the mainstays of northeastern agriculture. Unlike previous books, which cast this transformation primarily in economic terms, McMurry's work emphasizes the role of social systems, cultural values, material culture, and family dynamics. She argues that a key factor in the change was simply the resistance of women to the burden of home cheesemaking (many households produced thousands of pounds every season). When the technology and economic conditions permitted, the transition to factory production took place quickly - not because farm families made more money, but because taking the milk to factories helped resolve domestic tensions. As a result, patterns of life began to change - freeing women for new tasks, encouraging increased reliance on the market economy and new cash crops, and emphasizing wage work, which in turn affected the reorganization of the domestic economy.
Author: Andrew R. L. Cayton,Richard Sisson,Chris Zacher
Publisher: Indiana University Press
Category: Social Science
This first-ever encyclopedia of the Midwest seeks to embrace this large and diverse area, to give it voice, and help define its distinctive character. Organized by topic, it encourages readers to reflect upon the region as a whole. Each section moves from the general to the specific, covering broad themes in longer introductory essays, filling in the details in the shorter entries that follow. There are portraits of each of the region's twelve states, followed by entries on society and culture, community and social life, economy and technology, and public life. The book offers a wealth of information about the region's surprising ethnic diversity -- a vast array of foods, languages, styles, religions, and customs -- plus well-informed essays on the region's history, culture and values, and conflicts. A site of ideas and innovations, reforms and revivals, and social and physical extremes, the Midwest emerges as a place of great complexity, signal importance, and continual fascination.
22 Inspirational Architects, Engineers, and Landscape Designers
Author: Anna Lewis
Publisher: Chicago Review Press
Category: Juvenile Nonfiction
“What caused a few women to counter the trends and choose these professions? What difficulties did they face in fields so new to them? And did the influences that marked their early histories reveal themselves in their work and careers? Anna Lewis’s book raises these questions, central for young people considering the future.” —Denise Scott Brown, cofounder of Venturi, Scott Brown and Associates Women of Steel and Stone tells the stories of 22 determined women who helped build the world we live in. Thoroughly researched and engaging profiles describe these builders’ and designers’ strengths, passions, and interests as they were growing up; where those traits took them; and what they achieved. Inspiring a new generation of girls who are increasingly encouraged to engage in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) education and professions, the biographies stress work, perseverance, creativity, and overcoming challenges and obstacles. Set against the backdrop of landmark events such as the women’s suffrage movement, the civil rights movement, the industrial revolution, and more, the profiles offer not only important historical context but also a look at some of the celebrated architects and engineers working today. Sidebars on related topics, source notes, and a bibliography make this an invaluable resource for further study. Anna M. Lewis is an award-winning toy inventor and creativity advocate. Her company, Ideasplash, promotes child creativity through her writing, websites, and classes and presentations in schools. She has contributed to Appleseeds, Odyssey, and Toy Design Monthly and currently teaches for Young Rembrandts, an afterschool art program, as well as classes on cartooning, game design, arts and crafts, monster making, and painting.
A Family, a Company, and a Unique Nineteenth-century Dutch Architectural Movement in Michigan
Author: Michael J. Douma
Publisher: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing
In 1848, the second year of the new Dutch "kolonie" in West Michigan's Ottawa County, a much-needed brick manufacturing industry was begun in the rich clay fields between Groningen and Zeeland. From humble beginnings that included digging barefoot in the clay, the company created by Dutch immigrant Jan Hendrik Veneklasen and his son Berend flourished for more than seventy-five years and contributed to a unique architectural legacy. While Veneklasen Brick Co. (later Zeeland Brick Co.) remained in the family, success demanded that it expand beyond the Zeeland area. Strengthened by the purchase of clay pits elsewhere in West Michigan and benefiting from the arrival of railroad lines, Veneklasen eventually became one of the largest brick companies in the state. Veneklasen's bricks were used in commercial, industrial, and public settings, but their residential application has drawn the most attention. Mixing traditional Dutch patterns and constantly changing American housing styles, local brick masons left behind a prime example of nineteenth-century Dutch-American material culture. Drawing from untapped primary sources, Michael Douma's work traces the history of the Veneklasen family, the development of the Veneklasen company, and the impact of its products on local construction. The first-ever book-length analysis of West Michigan Dutch contributions to architecture, "Veneklasen Brick" also addresses issues of conservation and preservation. The volume contains numerous illustrations, graphs, maps, and a comprehensive listing of nineteenth-century brick houses in southern Ottawa and northern Allegan counties.
This book explores changes in rural households of the Georgia Piedmont through the material culture of farmers as they transitioned from self-sufficiency to market dependence. The period between 1880 and 1910 was a time of dynamic change when Southern farmers struggled to reinvent their lives and livelihoods. Relying on primary documents, including probate inventories, tax lists, state and federal census data, and estate sale results, this study seeks to understand the variables that prompted farm households to assume greater risk in hopes of success as well as those factors that stood in the way of progress. While there are few projects of this type for the late nineteenth century, and fewer still for the New South, the findings challenge the notion of farmers as overly conservative consumers and call into question traditional views of conspicuous consumption as a key indicator of wealth and status.
"Provides an excellent introduction as well as suggestions for using these plans to add architectural detail to your own home...an excellent bibliography."--Victorian Homes "The best home, barn and landscape designs...in a charming book....[It] contains numerous original illustrations showing a wealth of construction details, site plans and plantings."--Fine Homebuilding This classic bestseller contains the finest collection of architectural designs from a bygone era--and it's a boon for anyone hoping to construct that dream house or add charming touches to a modern one. Hundreds of illustrations from actual 19th century building plans feature architects' blueprints and drawings, full-color photos, and more. The buildings range from humble farmers' cabins to summer getaway cottages for the rich, and there's plenty of detail work, including built-in shelves, dormers, and turned balusters. With this information, an architect could easily create anything shown on the pages.
Representing new approaches to the study of the family and historical demography, this collection of essays analyzes the relationships of demographic processes in different population groups to household structure and family organization, and their implications for family behavior. Emphasizing dynamic rather than structural factors, the essays thus move beyond earlier studies of family history. Essays by the editors, Richard Easterlin, George Alter, Gretchen Condran, and Stanley Engerman focus on patterns of fertility in relation to urban and industrial development, economic opportunity and the availability of land, and race and ethnic origin. The remaining essays, by Laurence Glasco, Howard Chudacoff, and John Modell, deal with family organization over time as affected by such factors as the practice of boarding, the role of kin, family budgeting strategy, and migration. The authors not only challenge the prevailing assumption that rapid urbanization is responsible for the decline in the fertility rate; they also contend that, contrary to the prevailing theories of social change, the emergence of nuclear households was not a consequence of industrialization. Originally published in 1978. The Princeton Legacy Library uses the latest print-on-demand technology to again make available previously out-of-print books from the distinguished backlist of Princeton University Press. These editions preserve the original texts of these important books while presenting them in durable paperback and hardcover editions. The goal of the Princeton Legacy Library is to vastly increase access to the rich scholarly heritage found in the thousands of books published by Princeton University Press since its founding in 1905.
Since precolonial times, agriculture has been deeply woven into the fabric of Pennsylvania’s history and culture. Pennsylvania Farming presents the first history of Pennsylvania agriculture in than more sixty years and offers a completely new perspective. Sally McMurry goes beyond a strictly economic approach and considers the diverse forces that helped shape the farming landscape, from physical factors to cultural repertoires to labor systems. Above all, the people who created and worked on Pennsylvania’s farms are placed at the center of attention. More than 150 photographs inform the interpretation, which offers a sweeping look at the evolution of Pennsylvania’s agricultural landscapes right up to the present day.
This visual celebration of the American farmhouse--past and present--offers a compendium of how-to advice for current and prospective farmhouse dwellers. More than 200 photos and drawings capture the essence of the rustic, charming farmhouse.
Vernacular Architecture in the Western United States
Author: Thomas Carter
In thirteen well-illustrated essays, this book tells the story of the building of the American West and of the edifices that are as much a part of the history of the region as the people who built them. Organised in sequence according to central themes in the history of the West, the collection begins with two essays that describe the cultural connections between East and West during the late nineteenth century. The next two essays place American building forms in their western context, emphasising the distinctive regional qualities of the buildings and the lifeways they represent. The third pair of essays highlights the fact that in settling the West, Americans had to brush aside existing populations, often with serious ramifications for the displaced. Other essays focus on various ethnic groups and women and the exploitation of resources as a significant facet of western architectural development -- and the effect of such exploitation on the western landscape.
Wild rice has always been essential to life in the Upper Midwest and neighboring Canada. In this far-reaching book, Thomas Vennum, Jr., uses travelers' narratives, historical and ethnological accounts, scientific data, historical and contemporary photographs and sketches, his own field work, and the words of Indian people to examine the importance of this wild food to the Ojibway people. He details the technology of harvesting and processing, from seventeenth-century reports though modern mechanization. He explains the important place of wild rice in Ojibway ceremony and legend and depicts the rich social life of the traditional rice camps. And he reviews the volatile issues of treaty rights and litigations involving Indian problems in maintaining this traditional resource. A staple of the Ojibway diet and economy for centuries, wild rice has now become a gourmet food. With twentieth-century agricultural technology and paddy cultivation, white growers have virtually removed this important source of income from Indain hands. Nevertheless, the Ojibway continue to harvest and process rice each year. It remains a vital part of their social, cultural, and religious life.
Food, Family, and Gender in Twentieth Century Florence
Author: Carole M. Counihan
Category: Social Science
In this delicious book, noted food scholar Carole M. Counihan presents a compelling and artfully told narrative about family and food in late 20th-century Florence. Based on solid research, Counihan examines how family, and especially gender have changed in Florence since the end of World War II to the present, giving us a portrait of the changing nature of modern life as exemplified through food and foodways.