Home on the Rails
Women, the Railroad, and the Rise of Public Domesticity
By (author) Amy G. Richter
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Home on the Rails by Amy G. Richter
Book DescriptionRecognizing the railroad's importance as both symbol and experience in Victorian America, Amy G. Richter follows women travelers onto trains and considers the consequences of their presence there. For a time, Richter argues, nineteenth-century Americans imagined the public realm as a chaotic and dangerous place full of potential, where various groups came together, collided, and influenced one another, for better or worse. The example of the American railroad reveals how, by the beginning of the twentieth century, this image was replaced by one of a domesticated public realm - a public space in which both women and men increasingly strove to make themselves "at home." Through efforts that ranged from the homey touches of railroad car decor to advertising images celebrating female travelers and legal cases sanctioning gender-segregated spaces, travelers and railroad companies transformed the railroad from a place of risk and almost unlimited social mixing into one in which white men and women alleviated the stress of unpleasant social contact. Making themselves "at home" aboard the trains, white men and women domesticated the railroad for themselves and paved the way for a racially segregated and class-stratified public space that freed women from the home yet still preserved the railroad as a masculine domain.
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Book DetailsISBN: 9780807855911
(235mm x 156mm x 19mm)
Imprint: The University of North Carolina Press
Publisher: The University of North Carolina Press
Publish Date: 31-Mar-2005
Country of Publication: United States
Books By Author Amy G. Richter
At Home in Nineteenth-Century America, Paperback (January 2015)» View all books by Amy G. Richter
Few institutions were as central to nineteenth-century American culture as the home. This book draws upon advice manuals, architectural designs, personal accounts, popular fiction, advertising images, and reform literature to revisit the variety of places Americans called home.
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Author Biography - Amy G. Richter
Amy G. Richter is assistant professor of history at Clark University in Worcester, Massachusetts. The dissertation on which this book is based won the 2001 Lerner-Scott Prize from the Organization of American Historians.
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