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Science, technology, and management in the middle-class English home, c. 1800-1880 Open Access


Other title
Household Technology
Middle Class
Domestic Science
Women's History
Nineteenth-Century England
Household Management
Social History
Domestic Life
Type of item
Degree grantor
University of Alberta
Author or creator
Lieffers, Caroline
Supervisor and department
Lemire, Beverly (History and Classics)
Examining committee member and department
Smith, Susan (History and Classics)
Hamilton, Susan (English and Film Studies)
Department of History and Classics

Date accepted
Graduation date
Master of Arts
Degree level
The nineteenth-century English middle class was strongly influenced by science, industry, and capitalist managerial techniques. These trends also made their way into the domestic space, where women negotiated their application, particularly in the kitchen. This thesis examines domestic life in the context of the popularization of science and the history of technology and management to come to a fuller understanding of how middle-class women ran their homes between about 1800 and 1880, a period of broad industrialisation and business growth. The values of fact, precision, rationality, and order influenced the practice of cookery, the physical technologies in the home, and the management of people, time, and money. The middle-class male workspace celebrated the same values; women were the domestic counterparts of their husbands. Although the prescriptive literature was not always slavishly followed, adherence to these values, both at work and at home, could help cement the family’s social status.
License granted by Caroline Lieffers ( on 2010-08-27T02:10:07Z (GMT): Permission is hereby granted to the University of Alberta Libraries to reproduce single copies of this thesis and to lend or sell such copies for private, scholarly or scientific research purposes only. Where the thesis is converted to, or otherwise made available in digital form, the University of Alberta will advise potential users of the thesis of the above terms. The author reserves all other publication and other rights in association with the copyright in the thesis, and except as herein provided, neither the thesis nor any substantial portion thereof may be printed or otherwise reproduced in any material form whatsoever without the author's prior written permission.
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