Colonial Middle Class American Life

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Middle Class Americans

American middle class life was greatly influenced throughout 1870-1917. There were many profound changes, however the American industrialization and urbanization were the most rapid and unquestionably the most important. The industrialist brought forth household names that are still around today such as Swift, Armour, Westinghouse, Pillsbury, Pullman, Rocketfeller, Carnegie, and Duke. Due to the rapid movement of industrialization, so began a movement of urbanization. Between 1860 and 1910, urban population increased sevenfold and by the 1920's more than half of all Americans lived in cities. Along with the cities came more use of electricity, electric lights, telephones, and eventually appliances. Appliances virtually revolutionized the lives of the middle and upper class Americans, as did Henry Ford's mass production of the Model T. Throughout these forty-seven years many middle class Americans were influenced by the ads from companies, for example Sears Roebuck & Company. Not only were there adds for clothing and women's and men's' apparel but for automobiles, phones, and housing. There were many values, hopes, and fears Americans contemplated with as well as the advertising business' trying to lure Americans into purchasing products by listing consequences of using (or not using) their products.

Throughout the ads that I reviewed there were many of "so called" expected consequences of using or not using the products advertised. For example, there is an ad for A ScrapBook for "Homely Women" Only that is dedicated for women who want to have unwanted facial or bodily features removed or hidden. This two-part book gives advice for ugly scars, mouths, fingertips, crooked teeth, unwanted freckles, pimples, moles, etc. The expected consequences of this product are to take a below average looking woman and turn her into an attractive woman. The slogan even read, "We dedicate this collection of toilet secrets, not to the...
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