The Victorians Make the ModernI.Commerce and CultureThe middle and working class people adopted separate identities. Professionals andmanagers flourished,and they were presented with leisure activities to spend money on.Inventors were celebrated and Thomas Edison, the most famous, worked for himself rather thanfor someone else. Like most businessmen, Edison looked for the lucrative side of business, andintroduces the lightbulb and phonograph to America.Working class families had the opportunity to enjoy items made available by internationaltrade. Moving pictures from Edison was popular. Consumer culture seemed democratic, equal,but in reality, it was an ordeal of class, race, and inequality.Key PeopleThomas Edison- an inventor who worked for himself rather than for someone else. Like mostbusinessmen, Edison looked for the lucrative side of business, and introduced the lightbulb andphonograph to America.A.Consumer SpacesPublic areas such as the saloons, election polls, and circus entertainment were maledominated. Women who went there with no male companion endangered their reputation.Retailers invited families and women in to browse stores and watch the latest amusements.P.T. Barnum (1810 to 1891) developed his traveling circus by utilizing the everexpanding railroad web and promoted domestic business. He did not like that early managers inthe circus business allowed rowdiness in the tents. He developed a diverse family environment(but in the South, black were segregated/went to other shows) in the circus, targeting children ashis audience. He encouraged parents to come by saying his circus will compel children to retainmore courage and exercise more, and he showed respect and importance to females to attractwomen.Stores lured women (middle class) in by retaining a play space for children, tearooms,umbrellas, making clerks wrap and handle their items, and having credit plans so women wouldnot need to deal money in public. These tactics were so fruitful that New York’s store are wasdubbed Ladies’ Mile.However, these department stores were only for the middle class and the elite, but smallbargain or neighborhood stores worked for the working-class fams. Huge department storesbegan to regulate who came in by pushing vagrancy laws and encouraging the police to help.Women in the working class were able to become cashiers, clerks, and cash girls (12 yrs oryounger who were store messengers for $1.50 per week), and they worked long and hard. Clerkswanted to utilize their shopping privilege and use employee discounts and fought with theiremployer to wear the store brands to work.Technology was a key factor on how the states was depicted. Servants were replaced bymachines like the vacuum cleaner or the washing machine. Alexander Graham Bell’s telephone
(1876), which transformed social relations and mannerisms, found its way into the home, butwas only meant for business purposes.