Material goods, moving hands

Perceiving production in England, 1700–1830

By Kate Smith

Material goods, moving hands

Book Information

  • Format: Hardcover
  • ISBN: 978-0-7190-9067-7
  • Pages: 200
  • Publisher: Manchester University Press
  • Price: £75.00
  • Published Date: October 2014
  • BIC Category: DESIGN / History & Criticism, The arts / History of art & design styles: c 1600 to c 1800, Art History, Industrial / commercial art & design, History of art, 18th century, c 1700 to c 1799, 17th century, c 1600 to c 1699
  • Series: Studies in Design and Material Culture


In eighteenth-century Britain, greater numbers of people entered the marketplace and bought objects in ever-greater quantities. As consumers rather than producers, how did their understandings of manufacturing processes and the material world change? Material goods and moving hands combines material culture and visual culture approaches to explore the different ways in which manufacturers and retailers presented production to consumers during the eighteenth century. It shows how new relationships with production processes encouraged consumers, retailers, designers, manufacturers and workers to develop conflicting understandings of production. Objects then were not just markers of fashion and taste, they acted as important conduits through which people living in Georgian Britain could examine and discuss their material world and the processes and knowledge that rendered it.


Kate Smith is Lecturer in Eighteenth-Century History at the University of Birmingham


1. New ways of looking
2. Visual access to production
3. Listening in to the manufacturing world
4. Picturing production and embodying knowledge

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