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v. 8, no. 2: Dialogues: History of Technology in Africa and the Americas

Article

September 28th, 2020 by: Yovanna Pineda

Ways of Seeing Maintenance and Repair, Argentina

Introduction: Representation of Machinery Use in Argentine Culture and Film  In this technology story, I use ethnographic material from my original documentary film, Stories of the Harvester (https://vimeo.com/395115057), to discuss how the camera evokes spectators’ feelings about the subculture of farm machinery. I was influenced by Fernando Birri’s Tire Di’e spectacular film of children in…

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September 28th, 2020 by: Christiane Berth

Fear, Curiosity and New Social Rules: Representations of Early Telephone Use in Latin America, 1880-1935

In the late nineteenth century, local governments began to install telephone lines in Latin American cities. Among the first countries to introduce telephone service were Cuba, Chile, and Mexico, all of whom did so in the 1880s. At first, the telephone was a medium of communication for urban elites. It entered government offices, enterprises, and…

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September 28th, 2020 by: Robert Heinze

Le Gyrobus: an electric bus in colonial Kinshasa

In the history of technology, there is no shortage of artefacts that, once propagated as supremely modern and useful, quickly disappeared and were forgotten as more practicable standards, simpler technological solutions for the same problem or just a company with better market coverage brought those devices to the fore that appear in hindsight as touchstones…

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September 28th, 2020 by: Fon L. Gordon

 Driving “Jim Crow”: Cars and Race in the United States

The twentieth century saw the rise of the automobile as the most important consumer product and economic lever in the United States. Driving became a required expression of American nationalism and citizenship. Yet American car culture was also inextricably intertwined with race. The automobile emerged as an important economic, technological, aesthetic, and racial category of…

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September 28th, 2020 by: Diana Montaño

Visualizing Imprudentes: Technology and Consumption in Turn-of-the-century Mexico City

Jacinto S. García arrived to Mexico City in the summer of 1909. Astonished to find a “beautiful, clean, grand and Europeanized city,” the business representative of the Argentine government judged it deserved to be listed among the urban centers of the civilized world.[1] Throughout the route, he noted, there were “no longer any Teocallis, or…

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