Ruth Schwartz Cowan

Jan 9, 2023

The History of Household Technology from Open Hearth to the Microwave

A Discussion with Ruth Schwartz Cowan

New Books Network 2023

purchase at bookshop.org

Historian Ruth Schwartz Cowan talks about her book, More Work for Mother, with Peoples & Things host Lee Vinsel. The book examines the history of how Americans industrialized their homes over the past two hundred years and how supposedly labor-saving technologies led women to do increased housework. Cowan also reflects on what it was like to work as a professor as a woman and mother in the 1970s and how families have changed their relationship to technology and housework in the nearly forty years since the book was published.

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Lee Vinsel

Lee Vinsel is an associate professor in the Department of Science, Technology and Society at Virginia Tech. He studies human life with technology, with particular focus on the relationship between government, business, and technological change. His first book, Moving Violations: Automobiles, Experts, and Regulations in the United States, was published by Johns Hopkins University Press in July 2019.

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