By Andy Serwer, David Allison, Peter Liebhold, Nancy Davis, Kathleen G. Franz
What does it suggest to be an American? What are American principles and values? American Enterprise, the spouse e-book to a tremendous exhibition on the Smithsonian’s nationwide Museum of yankee background, goals to reply to those questions about the yankee adventure via an exploration of its fiscal and advertisement background. It argues that via the intersection of capitalism and democracy, we will see the place we as a kingdom have come from and the place we would be entering into the future.
Richly illustrated with photographs of gadgets from the museum’s collections, American company includes a 1794 greenback coin, Alexander Graham Bell’s 1876 cellphone, a brass funds sign in from Marshall Fields, Sam Walton’s cap, and plenty of different items and providers that experience formed American tradition. old and modern ads also are featured, emphasizing the evolution of the connection among manufacturers and shoppers over the years. Interspersed within the old narrative are essays from today’s leaders—including Sheila Bair, Adam Davidson, invoice Ford, Sally Greenberg, Fisk Johnson, Hank Paulson, Richard Trumka, and Pat Woertz—that pose provocative questions about the country of latest American enterprise and society. American Enterprise is a multi-faceted survey of the nation’s enterprise history and corresponding social results that's basic to an realizing of the lives of the yank humans, the heritage of the USA, and the nation’s function in worldwide affairs.
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Extra info for American Enterprise: A History of Business in America
Beaver pelt, 19th century. Thick beaver fur was the most desirable. Three grades of pelts defined the trade: castor gras, pelts worn by trappers whose perspiration and body oils softened the coarse outer hair; castor sec, stiff unworn scraped pelts, and bandeau, poorly scraped pelts. Beaver hat, 19th century. Beaver hats were fashionable for over three hundred years. The quality of a beaver hat indicated position and wealth. Pelts traveled by cart from the Dakota Territory to St. Paul, then on to the East Coast and Europe, where they were fashioned into hats.
Signs with pictures and symbols identified the sorts of goods that might be found in any given shop. Typically such signs, often made by itinerant artists, needed to be large enough to be seen from a distance, bold in shape, eye catching, and easy to remember. This watchmaker sign did the job, broadly identifying the Barthelmes shop. Inside the store, it was likely, though, that in addition to pocket watches a much broader assemblage of goods such as jewelry, clocks, and optical wares would be found.
Within two centuries, the American dollar would become the most important monetary unit in the world. Unquestionably, Washington was overly optimistic about the triumph of commerce over war in the interactions among nations. But he was not wrong in discerning that the future of the United States depended on how effectively it balanced its own commercial interests with those of other global powers. Despite his desire to return to farming, Washington was called back within a year to lead his country, first as President of the Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia, and subsequently as the first President of the United States.
American Enterprise: A History of Business in America by Andy Serwer, David Allison, Peter Liebhold, Nancy Davis, Kathleen G. Franz