I thank Michael Millman, my editor at ABC-CLIO, who provided guidance
in shaping the essay topics and whose own enthusiasm for the ways artifacts
tell history livened this manuscript, and Ellen Rasmussen, Media Editor,
who skillfully located the images of many obscure items from the daily
lives of 20th-century Americans. I thank the Program in American Studies
at Miami University for a travel grant to conduct research at the University
of Colorado–Boulder library when I was away from my own university li-
brary system. Dr. Fred Anderson at UC-Boulder kindly arranged for library
privileges for me. I also thank the terrific team at the Gunnison County
Public Library–Old Rock Library in Crested Butte, Colorado, for cheerfully
arranging to have books sent to the very tiny town I was living in during
some of the writing of this book. They were also unfailingly encouraging in
their support of this project. I thank several women who talked honestly
about their life experiences during the 1940s to 1970s on topics ranging
from birth control to cooking. My dissertation adviser, Dr. Angel Kwolek-
Folland, guided me during my doctoral work; returning to her masterful
work on office culture and women’s lives was a joy. I reread her books with
a sense of delight. I thank those I did not meet or correspond with but whose
work touched me and informed this work: the curators and donors of count-
less small museums across this country. So often these smaller institutions
are not recognized for the ways they conserve and preserve the past as it
was lived. Finally, I thank my family, my husband Kevin Armitage and
daughter Rita Armitage.
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