The Center for the History of Business, Technology, and Society organizes events designed to bring attention to Hagley’s research collections and the topics with which they engage. Our author talk series features recent original books that draw on Hagley materials and address topics of interest to a general audience. Research seminars invite audiences to read and offer thoughts on pre-circulated work in progress original historical essays, and intended for a cross-over audience of active scholars and the interested public. Conferences are organized in around a thematic call for papers and are comprised of academic presentations based on original research. Many conferences form the basis for edited volumes published in the University of Pennsylvania Press series, Hagley Perspectives on Business and Culture.
Upcoming History Hangouts
A virtual event produced by the Center for Business History featuring in-depth talks with staff and scholars about moments in U.S. history documented by collections at the Hagley Library.
Americans love coffee, but the coffee in American cups has changed a lot over the years. Three waves of coffee consumer culture washed over the twentieth-century United States: the mass commodity wave, the differentiation wave, and the aficionado’s wave. With each wave came changes to the way Americas bought, prepared, and consumed coffee. Present throughout the decades, however, has been the Chemex coffeemaker designed in the 1930s by chemist and industrial designer Peter Schlumbohm.
The history of American electricity is often told through the experiences of engineers and managers, but these were only a handful of the many thousands of workers who built, maintained, and ran electrical utility systems in the United States. The linemen, clerks, pipe fitters, marketers, secretaries, and many, many others who do the work to keep the power on have little space in the literature. In fact, we have collectively learned not to see these workers and the work that they do even when they are right in front of our eyes.
Upcoming Author Talks
Want to know about the origins of the brands and trademarks that now fill our marketplaces and media? In her author talk on Thursday February 29, Jennifer Black will tell all, drawing from her new book, Branding Trust: Advertising and Trademarks in Nineteenth Century America.
A Good Place to Do Business: The Politics of Downtown Renewal Since 1945 will be the topic of our May 9 author talk by historians Roger Biles and Mark Rose. Their book chronicles efforts to reinvigorate the downtowns of major American cities in order to reverse the process of urban decline. Commencing with Pittsburgh’s efforts, they explore how these urban “makeovers” promised to increase...
Upcoming Research Seminars
For more than twenty years Hagley’s research seminars have brought innovative work-in-progress essays for wide-ranging discussions on Thursday evenings during the academic year. Those planning to attend are encouraged to read the paper in advance as the author does not deliver a lecture. For papers, contact Carol Lockman at firstname.lastname@example.org or (302) 658-2400, ext. 243.
This paper analyzes the causes and consequences of the turn to tribal enterprise as a reservation economic development strategy during the 1970s. Over 345 factories were built on or near reservations to employ Indigenous workers during the 1960s and 1970s. Less than a dozen of these firms were tribally-owned by 1970. In contrast, by 1979, over two thirds of the manufacturing facilities...
“The Blacker the Bum Wine” is chapter from a manuscript in progress with the tentative title, Terror’s Terroir: The Corner Liquor Store in Black Urban Life. Terror’s Terroir investigates the prevalence and impact of corner liquor stores in Black urban life from approximately 1950 to the present.
Proximity to power, access to professional networks, and acquisition of insider knowledge has come to define the “intangible things” unpaid internships claim to offer students—whether in the public service or in proliferating private internship programs. This paper locates the origins of the modern, private white-collar internship in the growth of the New Deal administrative state and the...
In the 25 years after World War II, the coastline of South Florida was transformed into a sprawling cultural landscape of leisure, made up of suburban communities designed for vacationers and retirees. While builders and real estate developers were integral in drawing throngs of leisure seekers to South Florida from the Midwest and Northeastern U.S., residents also played a critical role in...