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Yankee Capitalist Go Home: The Singer Sewing Machine Company in 1930s Japan

April 24, 2009 - 12:00pm
Okimoto Conference Room, Encina Hall East, 3rd Floor
CEAS SPECIAL JAPAN LECTURES, SPRING 2008-09 Andrew Gordon, Lee and Juliet Folger Fund Professor of History, Harvard University The sewing machine was the first mechanized product of industrial civilization to find a place in masses of homes all around the world, including Japan. It carried with it practices, especially consumer credit, which have been central to the rise of the middle. It was also a good sold by men, to women, and one of the longest, most contentious, and most interesting labor disputes in Japan's prewar history was that of the Singer sellers. The story of this dispute offers insight into the birth of the salesman as a central figure in the modern history of capitalism, and into the ethnic nationalism that figured significantly in the emergence of successful domestic competitors to Singer.
Free and Open to the public.
Event Sponsor: 
Center for East Asian Studies
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