Material Culture in America: Understanding Everyday Life by Shirley Wajda, Helen Sheumaker

By Shirley Wajda, Helen Sheumaker

Reaching again four hundred years, fabric lifestyles in the United States: An Encyclopedia is the 1st reference exhibiting what the examine of fabric tradition unearths approximately American society—revelations now not obtainable via conventional resources and methods.

In approximately 2 hundred entries, the encyclopedia strains the background of artifacts, ideas and concepts, industries, peoples and cultures, cultural productions, ancient forces, classes and kinds, non secular and secular rituals and traditions, and masses extra. every body from researchers and curators to scholars and common readers will locate instance after instance of ways the gadgets and environments created or altered via people display as a lot approximately American lifestyles as diaries, records, and texts.

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Museums reconstructed slave quarters, mounted exhibitions, held homecomings for black and white descendants of ancient families, or otherwise determined that their sites’ African American history is significant to the history of all Americans. In addition, new museums and historic sites now mark the places and events of the Underground Railroad, the civil rights struggle, and other aspects of African American history. Susan A. Kern See also African American Foodways; Consumerism and Consumption; Ethnicity; Folklore and Folklife; Historic Preservation; Museums and Museum Practice; Race; Slavery References and Further Reading Ferguson, Leland.

Natural history museums began in the United States with Charles Willson Peale’s (1741–1827) museum in Philadelphia (opened 1786). An artist and naturalist, Peale displayed stuffed animals in natural ABC-CLIO 1-800-368-6868 28 M A T E R I A L C U LT U R E I N A M E R I C A Animals groupings. The Smithsonian Institution (founded 1846) had limited display of animals, but the American Museum of Natural History (founded 1868 in New York City) became the first great natural history museum in the United States, featuring scientifically accurate dioramas of animals and plants in natural groupings and poses.

At first, early fighter planes were not equipped with weaponry, and pilots were given pistols to fire upon enemy planes and soldiers. Fixed weapons on airplane wings were used by the end of the war. The Air Corps was established in December 1941 to bolster defenses against German U-boats during World War II. During the Korean and Vietnam wars, the use of the helicopter was vital in difficult terrain for medical, supply, and troop transport purposes. Corporations such as McDonnell Douglas, formed in 1967, capitalized on the rising needs of military aviation, as well as the burgeoning space program and civilian airliners.

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