Bright Modernity: Color, Commerce, and Consumer Culture
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Color is a visible technology that invisibly connects so many puzzling aspects of modern Western consumer societies—research and development, making and selling, predicting fashion trends, and more. Addressing the relevant multidisciplinary scholarship, this introduction surveys and makes the case for further study of the transnational history of color in relation to that of the history of consumption in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. The chapter concludes by considering the darker side of “bright modernity,” namely, the contribution of new chemically produced colors to environmental pollution and food poisoning in the second half of the nineteenth century.