Auto Mechanics: Technology and Expertise in by Kevin L. Borg

By Kevin L. Borg

The historical past of autos is not only the tale of invention, production, and advertising; it's also a narrative of fix. car Mechanics opens the fix store to historic research -- for the 1st time -- by means of tracing the emergence of a filthy, tough, and critical profession.Kevin L. Borg's examine spans a century of automobile expertise -- from the horseless carriage of the past due 19th century to the "check engine" gentle of the overdue 20th. Drawing from a various physique of resource fabric, Borg explores how the mechanic's career shaped and advanced in the context of extensive American fault strains of sophistication, race, and gender and the way vocational schooling entwined those tensions round the mechanic's designated services. He extra indicates how features of the patron rights and environmental hobbies, in addition to the layout of automobile electronics, mirrored and challenged the social identification and services of the mechanic.In the historical past of the yank car mechanic, Borg reveals the origins of a chronic nervousness that even this present day accompanies the possibility of taking one's motor vehicle in for fix. (Fall 2008)

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Extra info for Auto Mechanics: Technology and Expertise in Twentieth-Century America (Studies in Industry and Society)

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Thirteenth Census of the United States, vol. 4: 1910, 152–53, 181, 540, 545, 572, 575–78, 589. note: Percentages do not total 100 due to rounding and the exclusion of workers under the age of sixteen. posed servant status. Chauffeurs used their knowledge of the new technology to stake out as much material and social space for themselves as possible. Chauffeurs have left scant historical or documentary evidence of themselves, but a close examination of the census data can provide some insights about their identity.

Yet when the chauffeur was shown to the ser- 22 Auto Mechanics vants’ quarters, he became indignant about the treatment, complained to his employer, and refused to return to that establishment. Hotel owners were perplexed. They did not want to offend either the wealthy patrons or their chauffeurs. 30 Juvenile literature of the time also reflected this social ambiguity. C. N. and A. M. Williamson’s The Lightning Conductor: The Strange Adventures of a Motor-Car, tells the story of Molly Randolph, daughter of a wealthy American businessman, and her tour of Europe with her Aunt Mary on a motorcar.

27 Finally, two shop floor plans submitted to Blacksmith and Wheelwright in March 1897 provide additional insight into the rural blacksmith’s work and role in the community. The magazine published these plans as examples of “modern” shops because they illustrated the use of steam engines to drive much of the shop equipment. The machinery and layout of each shop nonetheless conforms to the range of tasks noted earlier. Each plan included an area set aside for processing agricultural products from the local community.

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