Originally published in 1999. 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.