This week we are talking about the field of home economics or domestic science. Was it really a science? To what extent was it a marketing exercise? Can it ever really overcome its founding racist and classist overtones? Does home economics even exist anymore?
The failed anthracite coal mine workers strike of 1887-88 in eastern Pennsylvania illustrates some of the fault lines and contradictions within capitalism and highlight some of the ways our 21st century economy is devolving back toward older patterns. (Bill and Rachel)
At the start of the 20th century, eccentric inventor and utopian theorist King C. Gillette developed the disposable blade for safety razors, launching one of the most influential, trend-setting American corporations of all time, for good or ill. (Bill and Rachel)
In 1857, Waltham, Massachusetts jumped from the First to the Second Industrial Revolution by becoming the global home of the mass-produced pocketwatch, capitalizing on the railroad industry and then the American Civil War.