AT THE INTERSECTION OF ECONOMICS AND CULTURE: THE THRIFT INDUSTRY AND PROGRESSIVE ERA SOCIAL REFORM

David L. Mason

Abstract


Although America’s thrift industry originated in 1831, it did not truly grow until the 1880s when the country was entering the Second Industrial Revolution. By then thrifts were becoming an important source of home finance for the urban working class, who were attracted to it by promoters who emphasized the practical benefits of home ownership. These same industry promoters, however, also gained the support of Progressive Era elites by positioning the industry as a solution to urban problems created by industrialization. The success of these efforts is seen quantitatively in terms of industry growth, and qualitatively in the diversity of support in terms of race, gender and ethnicity.

Full Text: PDF

Refbacks

  • There are currently no refbacks.