Thursday, November 17, 2011

Consumption in the Home, Winter Park

The home was a crucial consumptive structure in Winter Park, as it was everywhere else in the US during the Guilded Age. COnsumption, as a new form of the urban system, transformed the home, as much as the home fueled and transformed the role of consumption in urban life.

With the general move to industrialization in cities, the population became more consumption driven. Consumption became a new part of the economic system as well. As more people immigrated to the US and moved to cities, and as more goods were being mass produced, goods became cheaper and more accessible to more people. The middle class and upper class families bought more goods, creating the foundation for a consumer society.

The home became the source of the "need" for consumer goods. As the middle and upper classes moved out of the city's heart and into the suburbs, they were still influenced by the advertisements for new products being produced. The home became the open playing field for inventors and businessmen. In the 1890's many consumer products for the home were introduced that are still used today, like Aunt Jemima's maple syrup. The city and the home became the places that could be improved on by simple, affordable consumer goods. If life could be made easier why would anyone go about it any other way? At least that's what people were sold.

Also, with women's roles changing in the home, they were the chief consumers. Women were targeted for goods that would improve their households and their workloads in Winter Park, and everywhere during the Guilded Age. In the Guilded Age, women's domestic duties developed to include shopping for the household.

Overall the US's industrial and population expansion led to a greater dependence on consumer goods by the people. The home was the base for a consumptive structure in the US and more specifically in WInter Park. The home became the major fuel for the economy. WIth the people feeling compelled to buy cheap luxury items for their homes, factory jobs opened up and kept the manufacturing of products stable, changing the population's perspective on their "needs". Winter Park's economy was driven by the "snowbirds" annual stay, and their extreme wealth drove them to want to consume. In order to accommodate the visitors and residents, Winter Park grew to adopt consumerism as part of its new structure in order to progress with the rest of the US.

All in all, the home was the cause of consumption becoming the massive industry that it is today, in Winter Park and all over the US, starting in the Guilded Age.

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