JF Ptak Science Books
One of the things that I've not thought of before was the invention of luxury for the working poor.
The first comfortable chair, the first luxurious chair,. ever bought by a member of the working, laboring class was purchased in the United States on July 23, 1852 at 11.11 in the morning.
Or perhaps not.
But what did happen around this time was that a commodity that was over and above the absolute necessity--say for an upholstered chair with springs--did become available en masse to the vast majority of working/poor Americans. Or at least that's what I'm thinking. The Industrial Revolution, now 80 years old or so, began to rub up against objects that we're formerly only available through extended labor and craftsman but were now becoming widely accessible and for cheap because of mechanized production.
So, for example, the stuffed comfy chair which had been the nearly exclusive domain of the middle- and wealthy classes were now patented inventions that were mass produced, their cost coming down because of the ease of production and the vast new demand. The industrialization of luxury found its true invention in mid-century Americas and was subject to enormous variation and tremendously expanded development--so much so that in just the next few decades there would be massively distributed catalogs containing almost nothing but eminently affordable necessaries and new luxuries. By the 1880s the mail order catalog was becoming commonplace, as was the ability for the poorer classes to purchase formerly unaffordable objects--luxury for the masses had been discovered, and an enormous consuming class had been invented.