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[Detail] Vacuum cleaners on display at the J.C. Harding & Co.

Historical Research Capabilities

Prosperity and Thrift provides readers an opportunity to acquire information regarding shifts in gender and racial identities. A search on women yields surveys such as The Buying Habits of Small-Town Women, Thrift for Women; books on the changing role of women in the consumer economy such as Christine Frederick’s Selling Mrs. Consumer, and Frances Donovan’s The Saleslady, and more elaborate studies such as Sophonisba P. Breckenridge’s Women in the Twentieth Century.

The collection also contains discussions of the African-American experience including Booker T. Washington’s opening address to the Cotton States and International Exposition on September 18, 1895. Searches on National Negro Business League and African-American Economic Issues allow readers to compare Washington’s so-called “Atlanta Compromise” speech of 1895 with documents in the collection relating to economic issues raised by African Americans in the 1920s. You may also examine Alain Locke’s summary of race relations from the 1928 National Interracial Conference and studies such as Fisk University’s The Southern Urban Negro as a Consumer.

In addition, readers can use the Guide to People, Organizations, and Topics in Prosperity and Thrift, with its concise descriptions and links to the collection, as a resource for understanding familiar references from traditional history books and textbooks. You can use the index to examine the collection for information on topics such as:

  • Prominent individuals (e.g., Herbert Hoover, Andrew Mellon, A. Philip Randolph, Frederick Taylor, Mary Church Terrell)
  • Organizations (e.g., American Federation of Labor, Federal Trade Commission, National Urban League, Universal Negro Improvement Association),
  • Congressional legislation (e.g., Agricultural Credits Act, McNary-Haugen Bill),
  • Industrial theories such as Time and Motion Studies (search on Taylorisms) and the Bedeaux Efficiency System.

Or, review the Guide to People, Organizations, and Topics in Prosperity and Thrift for unusual references such as Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade and The Playground Movement.