Synopses & Reviews
This dictionary is designed to make the industrial vocabulary of earlier eras understandable and accessible to contemporary investigation. It brings together in one place a great deal of information that has been widely scattered in obscure places. The specialized language of the shop, the mill, and other everyday settings, although initially familiar, becomes quite foreign in the context of general lanuage. Mulligan contends that, upon close examination of this specialized vocabulary, the lives and experiences of the early workers can be better understood, thus opening another avenue in the exploration of this country's industrial heritage. As a historical barometer reflecting the extent of change in an industry, the language of particular crafts and industries brings together the social and cultural background of the participants, and the dynamic of the activity or work.
Designed to render understandable to contemporary investigators the language of work and crafts in America during the preindustrial and industrial revolution eras (18th and 19th centuries), this dictionary provides brief definitions of approximately 3,000 terms related to tools, processes, jobs, and workplaces in manufacturing industries. Industries with extensive vocabularies, as reflected in this volume, are also those most active in America during the time period, namely, textiles, machine tools, mining, milling, and metal processing. Among other industries covered are chemicals, coopering, electric power, firearms, food processing, glassmaking, highway construction, lumbering, petroleum, photography, printing, and shoemaking. Nonmanufacturing industries are excluded, most prominently agriculture and transportation. Coverage of each industry was assigned to a contributing scholar, usually associated with a major technology museum. . . . Mulligan's useful glossary significantly reflects the culture of work at the time. Recommended for most academic libraries and for special libraries with interests in the history of technology or American business.Choice
About the Author
WILLIAM H. MULLIGAN, JR., is Director of the Clarke Historical Library and Adjunct Professor of History at Central Michigan University.
Table of Contents
Appendix: Terms Listed by Industry