Material CultureProfessor Emerson Baker
Some Interesting Web Addresses Related
to this Course
Crossroads: American Studies Association
National Endowment for the Humanities EDSITEment page
Library of Congress American Memory Project
Discovery Channel: Toys Were Us
Canadian Museum of Civilization
The Web of Time: Pages from the American Past
SALEM STATE COLLEGE
Department of History - Spring 2001
WF 11:00 - Sullivan Building 106
Professor Emerson W. Baker
This course covers the identification, classification,
and interpretation of the artifacts of early America. Handcrafted and mass
produced materials of both domestic and foreign manufacture will be considered.
The class will focus on the material culture of New England prior to 1860,
and its interpretation by archaeologists, historians and museum professionals.
Content Objectives - After completing this course, you should understand and be able to comment accurately on the following themes:
1. The use of material culture to understand the past.
2. The interdisciplinary relations ship of material culture history.
3. Recent trends in material
culture research, in such areas as ethnicty, gender, and consumerism.
Skills Objectives - In this course you will have the opportunity to develop the following:
1. A wide-ranging knowledge of artifacts of early America
2. Writing in grammatically correct English.
Midterm examination 25%
Final examination 30%
Written assignments 35%
Attendance & Participation
James Deetz, In Small Things Forgotten
David R. Brauner, comp., Approaches to Material Culture Research for Historical Archaeologists, 2nd edition
Ivor Noel-Hume, A Guide to Artifacts of Colonial America (copy on reserve at the library)
plus, other articles on
Midterm exam. This exam will cover all lectures
and readings from the beginning of the course through March 2. The
exam will take place on March 7.
Final Exam. The final exam covers material from the entire semester, though it will be weighted toward material presented after the midterm exam.
I expect you be be here for class, and to always be ready to speak to the
issues of the day.
Big Mac Attack – An approximately four page material culture analysis of a Big Mac box and the fast food phenomenon (10% of grade) Due: February 9
Web Review – Brief (one page) reviews on two different web sites related to material culture. (5% of grade) Due: February 23
Probate Analysis – A 7-8 page study of the probate record of the Balch family of Beverly (20% of grade)
Due: April 20
Instructions for all written assignments: All written work is to be typed (or word processed) and double spaced, with one inch margins. Although this is not an English class, your spelling and grammar do matter a great deal, for the better you communicate your historical thoughts, the better I can evaluate them. If you use citations in your work, it is to be noted in historical citation style, with footnotes or end notes, as indicated in the Chicago Manual of Style of Turabian. Remember, using the quotes or even the ideas of others without proper citation is plagarism. If you have questions about citation style, please ask. Papers not handed in during class on the due date are considered late, and will be marked down. The later they are, the more they will be marked down.
Salem State College is committed to nondiscrimination of Handicapped persons as specified in section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973. Students who qualify as handicapped persons under the definition of this act should notify the instructor at the beginning of course so that reasonable modifications may be made when necessary.
Syllabus - HIS 790
Material Culture of Early America *-denotes reserve reading
Jan 17 & 19 Introduction to the Course: What is Material Culture, Why Study it?
Deetz, introduction & chapter 1
George Miller et al, "Approaches to Material Culture
Research," in Brauner pp. 1-10
Jan 24 & 26 Material Culture in Modern America: Big Macs, Barbie Dolls, and Budweiser
Deetz, chapter 2
James T. Rock, “Cans in the Countryside,” in Brauner, pp. 275-289
D.B.S. Maxwell, Beer Cans, A guide for the Archaeologist
in Brauner, pp. 290-308.
Jan 31 and Feb 2 Material Life in Early America
James Horn, "The Bare Necessitites," in Brauner, pp. 381-398
Deetz, ch 7.
Feb 7 & Feb 9 Ceramics - Tablewares and Utilitarian wares
Earthenwares, coarse and fine
British earthenwares - Noel Hume pp. 102-137
Iberian and other European products - Noel Hume pp. 138-145
American products - Noel Hume pp. 98-101
Deetz, chapter 3
Mary Beaudry et al, "A Vessel Typology for Early Chesapeake Ceramics," in Brauner pp. 11-36.
Lynne Sussman, Changes in Pearlware Dinnerware, 1780-1830 in Brauner pp. 37-43.
Lynne Sussman, British
Military Tableware, 1760-1830 in Brauner, pp. 44-55.
Feb 14 & 16 Ceramics, Continued
Rhenish products - Noel Hume pp. 276-285
"Bellarmines" or bartmanns - Noel Hume pp. 55-57
Porcelains - Chinese - Noel Hume pp. 257-265
Patricia Samford, “Response to Market,” in Brauner pp. 56-85
George Miller, "A Revised Set of CC Index Values,” in Brauner, pp. 86-110.
Deetz, chapter 4
Feb 21 & 23 Glasswares: Bottles and Tableware
Liquor bottles - Noel Hume pp. 60-71
Drinking glasses & decanters - Noel Hume pp. 184-202
John White, “Bottle Nomenclature,” in Brauner, pp. 139-148
Olive Jones, "Glass Bottle Push-Ups and Pontil Marks," in Brauner, pp. 149-160.
George Miller & Catherine Sullivan, "Machine Made
Glass Containers," in Brauner, pp. 161-174
Feb 28 & Mar 2 Personal Artifacts
Clay tobacco pipes & pipestem dating Noel Hume pp. 296-313
Clothing and jewelry
Rings, finger - Noel Hume pp. 265-266
Buckles - Noel Hume pp. 84-88
Bells - Noel Hume pp. 58-59
Wig Curlers - pp. 321-23
Health and Hygiene
Drug pots and jars - Noel Hume pp. 203-210
Chamberpots - Noel Hume pp. 145-150
pharmaceutical bottles - Noel Hume pp. 72-76
Deetz, ch. 6
Jeffrey Butterworth, “Forming the Past,” in Brauner,
March 9 Hardware and Weaponry
Hinges - Noel Hume pp. 235-236
Spades and hoes - Noel Hume pp. 274-275
Horseshoes and horse furniture - Noel Hume pp. 237-242
Nancy Kenmotsu, "Gunflints: A Study," in Brauner,
Cutlery and spoons - Noel Hume pp. 177-183
Pins, needles, and thimbles - Noel Hume pp. 254-256
Scissors - Noel Hume pp. 267-268
Toys - Noel Hume 313-21
Erica Hill,” Thimbles and Thimble Rings” in Brauner, pp. 309-317
Ann Smart, "The Role
of Pewter as Missing Artifact," in Brauner, pp. 248-274.
March 28 & 30 Furnishings and Decorative Arts
Furniture hardware - Noel Hume pp. 227-232
Locks and padlocks - Noel Hume pp. 243-251
Candlesticks and lighting accessories - Noel Hume pp. 93-97
*Gloria Main, "The Distribution of Consumer Goods in Colonial New England"
*Kevin Sweeney, "Furniture and Domestic Environment
in Wethersfield, Connecticut"
April 4 & 6 Trade and Commerce
Cloth seals Noel Hume pp. 269-270
Coins, tokens and jetons) (Noel Hume pp. 154-173)
Glass Beads - Roderick Sprague, "Glass Trade Beads: A Progress Report,"in Brauner, 202-220.
Stine, Cabak, and Groover, “Blue Beads as African-American Cultural Symbols,” in Brauner, 221-247.
David Burley, “Function, Meaning and Context,” in Brauner, pp. 399-408.
*James Axtell, "The First Consumer Revolution"
April 11 & 13 Structural Artifacts
Decorative tiles - Noel Hume pp. 285-294
Roofing tiles - Noel Hume pp. 294-295
Bricks - Noel Hume pp. 80-84
Window glass - Noel Hume pp. 233-35
Nails - Noel Hume pp. 352-353
Deetz, chapter 5
Tom Wells, “Nail Chronology,” in Brauner, pp. 318-339
April 18 & 20 Ethnicity in Material Culture
Deetz, chapters 8 & 9
Adams and Boling, "Status and Ceramics for Planters and Slaves," in Brauner, pp. 111-138.
Parker Potter, “What is the Use of Plantation Archaeology?” in Brauner, pp. 409-422.
Aaron Russell, “Material Culture and Afro-American Spirituality at the Hermitage, in Brauner pp. 423-440.
*Kathleen J. Bragdon, "The Material Culture of the
Christian Indians of New England"
Review Day (schedule permitting)
Final Exam 2:30-4:30