Library of Congress American Memory
New Collection Announcement

Prosperity and Thrift: The Coolidge Era and the Consumer Economy,
1921-1929, an online compilation made possible with the generous
support of Laurance S. and Mary French Rockefeller, assembles a
broad array of Library of Congress source materials documenting
the prosperity of the Coolidge years, the nation's transition to a
mass consumer economy, and the role of government in this

The collection materials draw attention on the one hand to business
concerns, such as advertising, marketing, merchandising, and
industrialization, and on the other to popular notions about
responsible consumerism, thriftiness, and efficiency in the home. The
collection also focuses on President Coolidge’s idea of government,
and on Secretary of Commerce Herbert Hoover's standardization
initiatives.  Other materials document groups that could not
participate fully in the emergent consumer economy, notably farmers
and immigrants.  Collection materials suggest connections among some
of the key technological developments, government structures, social
organizations, and cultural assumptions that worked together to
reinforce the mass consumer economy.

Among items of special interest are research studies and manuscript
materials that document the spending habits of African Americans,
the activities of African American businesses, and the northward
migration in search of better opportunities.  Other notable materials
include information on consumer activism; studies of urban and rural
women as consumers; selections from the papers of Edward L Bernays,
a founding father of public relations; and the diaries of White House
physician Joel T. Boone, giving his private view of the Coolidge family.

The collection is in a variety of formats and includes nearly 200
selections from twelve collections of personal papers and two
collections of institutional papers from the Manuscript Division of the
Library of Congress; 74 books, pamphlets, and legislative documents
from the General Collections, along with selections from 34 consumer
and trade journals; over 60 speeches by Coolidge, 8 of which are
published here for the first time; 181 photographs from the National
Photo Company

Collection held by the Prints and Photographs Division; and 5 short
films and 7 audio selections of Coolidge speeches from the Motion
Picture, Broadcasting, and Recorded Sound Division.

The collection is accompanied by an alphabetically arranged guide
providing information about prominent individuals, organizations,
concepts, and publications of the Coolidge era replete with hyperlink
pointers to collection materials.

Prosperity and Thrift: The Coolidge Era and the Consumer
Economy1921-1929 can be found at the following URL:

Please send any questions about this collection to
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