Date of Award


Document Type

Open Access Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)



First Advisor

Roberta Wollons

Second Advisor

Julie Winch

Third Advisor

James Green


This study looks at the rise of household technologies available in Salem, Massachusetts from 1890-1914, and examines how these technologies, from importation to sale and consumption, defined class and class aspirations in the city and reflect transformations seen throughout the United States during the turn of the twentieth century. So that we can best understand how technology was used within individual homes, this research centers almost exclusively around four families whose businesses, and residences are dissected to better identify how their consumption of goods and technology created new opportunities, as well as problems, for household members and domestic servants employed by them to use new objects.