Hot Metal: Material Culture and Tangible Labour
- Manchester University Press
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- 2016, pp. 1 - 232 (232)
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The world of work is tightly entwined with the world of things. Hot metal illuminates connections between design, material culture and labour between the 1960s and the 1980s, when the traditional crafts of hot-metal typesetting and letterpress were finally made obsolete with the introduction of computerised technologies. This multidisciplinary history provides an evocative rendering of design culture by exploring an intriguing case: a doggedly traditional Government Printing Office in Australia. It explores the struggles experienced by printers as they engaged in technological retraining, shortly before facing factory closure. Topics explored include spatial memory within oral history, gender-labour tensions, the rise of neoliberalism and the secret making of objects 'on the side'. This book will appeal to researchers in design and social history, labour history, material culture and gender studies. It is an accessible, richly argued text that will benefit students seeking to learn about the nature and erosion of blue-collar work and the history of printing as a craft.
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