By Mona Domosh
This can be a novel interpretation of the connection among consumerism, commercialism, and imperialism in the course of the first empire construction period of the United States within the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. not like different empires in historical past, which have been regularly equipped on army strength, the 1st American empire used to be essentially a advertisement one, devoted to pushing items in another country and dominating international markets. whereas the yankee executive was once very important, it was once the good capitalist businesses of the United States – Heinz, Singer, McCormick, Kodak, ordinary Oil – that drove the imperial technique, explicitly linking the acquisition of customer items abroad with 'civilization'. Their continual message to America's prospective buyers used to be, 'buy American items and subscribe to the march of progress'. Domosh additionally explores how the photographs of peoples in another country conveyed via items increased America's feel of itself on this planet.
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Extra info for American Commodities in an Age of Empire
Some of those changes related to the relationship between the individual sales agent and the company. ” More interestingly, Singer executives found that they needed to be flexible in terms of their spatial organization and business operations. The necessity of personnel from the central offices to make visits to each depot was a problem for managers in districts where that travel involved long distances in uncomfortable wagons, such as those in Eastern Russia and Siberia. The manager of the Omsk central region, for example, faced a situation in which many of his depots were located several hundred kilometers from the rail lines.
In terms of overall sales, these adaptations paid off. 46 Albert Flohr thought further expansion was possible and initiated some organizational changes to accommodate that growth. Siberia was of particular concern to him; he figured it was still prime territory for future growth, yet its size and overall distance from headquarters required some special considerations. In 1910, Flohr introduced a new level of management — an office that would supervise several of the centrals in eastern Russia, in effect then overseeing a large chunk of Russia and reporting directly to headquarters.
39 This growth in sales was primarily the result of making machines available and affordable to such a large population, thus not requiring the heavy-handed marketing and advertising campaigns that were used in the United States. Singer therefore put its energies into two areas: expanding the spatial extent of its sales apparatus, thus physically enabling its products to reach customers, and maintaining vigilance over the collection of weekly payments. In other words, Singer realized that Russians would buy the machines if they were available and affordable.