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The Kid of Coney IslandFred Thompson and the Rise of American Amusements$
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Woody Register

Print publication date: 2003

Print ISBN-13: 9780195167320

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195167320.001.0001

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Uncle Sam's a Boy at Play

Uncle Sam's a Boy at Play

(p.3) One Uncle Sam's a Boy at Play
The Kid of Coney Island

Woody Register

Oxford University Press

Fred Thompson's determination to encourage visions of surplus and luxury placed him at the center of the development of early-20th-century consumer capitalism. Between 1890 and 1930, Americans laid the institutional foundation of its economy—department stores, advertising agencies, grand hotels and lavish saloons, restaurants, dance halls, and the great “world's fairs”—which showcased the marvelous array of consumer goods and technologies produced by the new industrial order. The architects of the urban marketplace enlisted these institutions and the social roles and practices associated with them not just to sell goods in new or more-effective ways, but to make consumer goods the very marrow of American life.

Keywords:   Fred Thompson, capitalists, consumer capitalism, fairs

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