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Railroads and Time Consciousness in the Antebellum South

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  18 February 2015

Abstract

Historians have often looked to industrial capitalism to further our understanding of “time consciousness.” This article explores time consciousness through the experience of a railroad in pre-Civil War South Carolina. Examining the South Carolina Railroad allows us to examine how time consciousness operated in a region not associated with industrial capitalism, and also see how multiple times could function simultaneously. While clocks were important to railroad operations, companies also had to address an array of non-clock times. Moreover, companies were never fully in control of their own time, but were in constant conflict and negotiation with various groups in the community. While industrialization and factory labor remain important ways to understand time consciousness, looking beyond the factory walls can help historians make better use of the analytical power of time.

Type
Articles
Copyright
Copyright © The Author(s) 2008. Published by Cambridge University Press on behalf of the Business History Conference. All rights reserved.

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References

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