Commercialization of Nature: Selling the 19th Century American Garden

Document Type

Grant Proposal

Date Accepted

Spring 2006

Project Description/Abstract

This project is a social history of late nineteenth century garden product promotion when mass advertising began, the railroad was available, and standardization of products was the rage. The goal is to understand how marketing material like garden mail order catalogs chronicle the change in the view of the garden as an expression of a new middle class. The method will be to examine material promoting garden products. The text and images in the material reveal the values and ideas of the culture on what is ‘garden’. Washington’s Smithsonian Institution has a great deal of primary material that has just recently become available to me to carry out this research. This past June the Smithsonian awarded me the Haupt Fellowship. Now I am requesting additional funding from CART, which will enable me to make frequent trips to Washington from January to June of 2006 to do the research.

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