Imagining Consumers: Design and Innovation from Wedgwood to Corning

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Imagining Consumers tells for the first time the story of American consumer society from the perspective of mass-market manufacturers and retailers. It relates the trials and tribulations of china and glassware producers in their contest for the hearts of the working- and middle-class women who made up more than eighty percent of those buying mass-manufactured goods by the 1920s.

Based on extensive research in untapped corporate archives, Imagining Consumers supplies a fresh appraisal of the history of American business, culture, and consumerism. Case studies illuminate decision making in key firms -- including the Homer Laughlin China Company, the Kohler Company, and Corning Glass Works -- and consider the design and development of ubiquitous lines such as Fiesta tableware and Pyrex Ovenware.

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About the author (2002)

Regina Lee Blaszczyk, Ph.D., is Director of the Beckman Center for the History of Chemistry at the Chemical Heritage Foundation in Phildelphia.

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