A Historical Dictionary of American Industrial Language

Hardcover | August 1, 1988

byWilliam H. Mulligan

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This dictionary is designed to make the industrial vocabulary of earlier eras understandable and accessible to contemporary investigation. It brings together in one place a great deal of information that has been widely scattered in obscure places. The specialized language of the shop, the mill, and other everyday settings, although initially familiar, becomes quite foreign in the context of general lanuage. Mulligan contends that, upon close examination of this specialized vocabulary, the lives and experiences of the early workers can be better understood, thus opening another avenue in the exploration of this country's industrial heritage. As a historical barometer reflecting the extent of change in an industry, the language of particular crafts and industries brings together the social and cultural background of the participants, and the dynamic of the activity or work.

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This dictionary is designed to make the industrial vocabulary of earlier eras understandable and accessible to contemporary investigation. It brings together in one place a great deal of information that has been widely scattered in obscure places. The specialized language of the shop, the mill, and other everyday settings, although in...

Format:HardcoverDimensions:320 pages, 9.41 × 7.24 × 0.98 inPublished:August 1, 1988Publisher:GREENWOOD PRESS INC.

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0313241716

ISBN - 13:9780313241710

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"Unique in concept, this Dictionary endeavors to survey the language of American industry in the period prior to World War I. Included are more than 3,000 alphabetically arranged terms drawn from industries ranging from bookbinding to woodworking. The greatest number of entries focus on the mining of metals (532), milling (358), coal mining (264), and metal processing (217). Less complete lists are offered for ropemaking (3), tobacco processing (5), upholstery (2), and woodworking (4). The editor chose to exclude terms for transportation and agriculture because of their large and complex vocabulary and because he felt they differed considerably from manufacturing industries. The quantity and quality of the entries, according to the editor, were largely determined by existing research on particular industries. . . . The terms are grouped together by industry in an appendix, and there is an extensive list of industry-specific dictionaries, encyclopedia, and handbooks in the bibliography. The index is limited to institutions and people mentioned in the definitions. The work is a collaborative effort of 20 contributors drawn largely from historic libraries and museums. The editor is the director of the Clarke Historical Library at Central Michigan University, who has written extensively on working-class history and craftsmen. Because of its unique scope, no comparisons can be made with existing reference works. . . . [This] new reference work succeeds in recovering the lost vocabulary of one of the most important segments of American society. It should prove invaluable to any student of the history of America's industries and crafts."-Reference Books Bulletin