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Working at PlayA History of Vacations in the United States$
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Cindy S. Aron

Print publication date: 2001

Print ISBN-13: 9780195142341

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195142341.001.0001

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“Vacations do not appeal to them …”: Extending Vacations to the Working Class

“Vacations do not appeal to them …”: Extending Vacations to the Working Class

(p.183) 7 “Vacations do not appeal to them …”: Extending Vacations to the Working Class
Working at Play

Cindy S. Aron

Oxford University Press

The 19th century had afforded few members of the working class the opportunity for a vacation. Toward the end of the century, some working-class people found other means to eke pleasure out of unemployment. Persuaded that vacations for workers could make good business sense, a small number of progressive American companies began during the 1920s to institute paid vacation plans. Although it was not until the last half of the 1930s that a majority of working-class people enjoyed the privilege of paid vacations, during the early decades of the 20th century, middle-class reformers, social critics, and businessmen helped to fashion a rationale for mass vacationing. By the early 20th century, a variety of groups had become interested in vacations for working women. Both businessmen and reformers apparently shared a general consensus that vacations spent outdoors—preferably camping—were the most beneficial.

Keywords:   vacations, camping, working class, working women, unemployment, paid vacations, mass vacationing, 19th century, reformers

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