Pianos for the people: the manufacture, marketing and sale of pianos as consumer durables, 1850-1914
Carnevali, F. and Newton, L. (2013) Pianos for the people: the manufacture, marketing and sale of pianos as consumer durables, 1850-1914. Enterprise and Society, 14 (1). pp. 37-70. ISSN 1467-2235
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To link to this article DOI: 10.1093/es/khs042
During the second half of the nineteenth century, British society experienced a rise in real incomes and a change in its composition, with the expansion of the middle classes. These two factors led to a consumer revolution, with a growing, but still segmented, demand for household goods that could express status and aspiration. At the same time technological changes and new ways of marketing and selling goods made these goods more affordable. This paper analyzes these themes and the process of mediation that took place between producers, retailers, and consumers, by looking at the most culturally symbolic of nineteenth century consumer goods, the piano.