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: £85.00
  • Published Date: October 2014
  • BIC Category: DESIGN / History & Criticism, Society & social sciences / Material culture, Art History, History of art, Industrial / commercial art & design, 18th century, c 1700 to c 1799, 17th century, c 1600 to c 1699, DESIGN / Industrial, The arts / History of art & design styles: c 1600 to c 1800
  • 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.


'The images are plentiful, and the book is well produced. The readability and utility of the book is enhanced greatly by its concise and well-honed argument, which builds in a useful way throughout. Each chapter uses different sources and approaches whilst also taking the chronology of the book forwards to its 1850 end point. Drawing on approaches from visual and material culture alongside diaries, pamphlets and business records, this book has much to offer historians interested in design, work, consumption and the senses.'
Cultural and Social History


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


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

Newsletter Sign Up

Manchester University Press

Your cart is empty.

Select your shipping destination to estimate postage costs

(Based on standard shipping costs)

Final cost calculated on checkout
Promotional codes can be added on Checkout