Abstract/Details

Commerce and sociability in small -town America: Explorations in historical GIScience


2008 2008

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Abstract (summary)

Small-towns around the turn of the twentieth century served as social, economic, and entertainment centers for the surrounding rural population and their Main Streets were the face of rural America. Although small-town Main Streets are a part of the larger urban system, they have often been neglected in academic scholarship on urban places. This dissertation utilizes several commonplace data sources for Main Street businesses to reveal and analyze connectivity patterns for several small-town communities in upstate New York from the 1880s through the first decade of the twentieth century. Rather than regarding small-town communities as merely being ‘linked’ in one direction as part of a metropolitan hinterland, evidence illustrates that each of these places also had their own webs of connectivities with many regional and distant places. These webs of connectivity helped shape the networks of commerce and sociability that often define small-town America. Hotel registers, store invoice records, local newspaper columns outlining travel into and out of local communities, and invoice data each offer very detailed individual-centered information that have remarkable spatial and temporal attributes. In addition to these place-based sources route books for traveling salesmen, circuses, and other entertainment troupes also reveal how places are connected through circuits of exchange at all levels of the urban system. Through the use of historical GIS and visualization analysis, the data illuminate a fish-eye lens model for everyday movements of people and products at the turn of the twentieth century.

Indexing (details)


Subject
American history;
Geography
Classification
0337: American history
0366: Geography
Identifier / keyword
Social sciences; Central New York; Historical GIS; Historical geography; Small town; Traveling salesman; Vaudeville
Title
Commerce and sociability in small -town America: Explorations in historical GIScience
Author
Fyfe, David Allen
Number of pages
370
Publication year
2008
Degree date
2008
School code
0176
Source
DAI-A 69/08, Dissertation Abstracts International
Place of publication
Ann Arbor
Country of publication
United States
ISBN
9780549769552
University/institution
The Pennsylvania State University
University location
United States -- Pennsylvania
Degree
Ph.D.
Source type
Dissertations & Theses
Language
English
Document type
Dissertation/Thesis
Dissertation/thesis number
3325913
ProQuest document ID
304495581
Copyright
Database copyright ProQuest LLC; ProQuest does not claim copyright in the individual underlying works.
Document URL
http://search.proquest.com/docview/304495581
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