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Each year, North Americans spend as much money fixing up their homes as they do buying new ones. This obsession with improving our dwellings has given rise to a multibillion-dollar industry that includes countless books, consumer magazines, a cable television network, and thousands of home improvement stores. Building a Market charts the rise of the home improvement industry in the United States and Canada from the end of World War I into the late 1950s. Drawing on the insights of business, social, and urban historians, and making use of a wide range of documentary sources, Richard Harris shows how the middle-class preference for home ownership first emerged in the 1920s - and how manufacturers, retailers, and the federal government combined to establish the massive home improvement market and a pervasive culture of Do-It-Yourself. Deeply insightful, Building a Market is the carefully crafted history of the emergence and evolution of a home improvement revolution that changed not just American culture but the American landscape as well.
Full Product DetailsAuthor: Richard Harris
Publisher: The University of Chicago Press
Imprint: University of Chicago Press
Country of Publication: United States
Dimensions: Width: 15.20cm , Height: 3.80cm , Length: 22.90cm
ISBN 10: 0226317668
Publication Date: 09 October 2012
Audience: General/trade , General
Publisher's Status: Active
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Table of Contents
While much has been written about homeownership, until now no history has explored the flip side of home owning, home repair, home maintenance, and home remodeling. In this unique, highly readable, and richly illustrated study, Richard Harris unscrambles the fascinating saga behind the building of the home improvement market. Part consumer history, part business history, and part planning and development history, Harris's work carries us from the small lumberyards of the nineteenth and early twentieth century to Johns-Manville showrooms and the modern Home Depot. It is an illuminating and enjoyable ride. <br><br>--John F. Bauman University of Southern Maine
Richard Harris is professor of geography at McMaster University, Hamilton, Ontario. He is the author of Unplanned Suburbs: Toronto's American Tragedy, 1900-1950 and Creeping Conformity: How Canada Become Suburban, 1900-1960.
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