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And commuter rails had extended the city beyond its 19th century core to expanded metropolitan regions, embracing suburban communities that became bedrooms to the city's commercial districts (Jackson). After 1900, the automobileone of the major products of America's manufacturing systemwas rolling off the assembly lines in ever increasing numbers: from 4,000 in 1900, to 181,000 in 1910, to nearly two million in 1920 and over four million in 1929. During these same years, surfaced roads increased from 150,000 miles in 1904 to nearly 700,000 miles in 1930 (Rosenberg 114; 115).

Page xiii Introduction This book grows out of a continuing concern with the relationship between technology and culture in twentieth-century America, a relationship that is of course anything but simple. We can immediately complicate things by considering that "technology" itself may contain multiple significations, from the simple and concrete notion of a way of doing things with machines, to the more general mindset that determines the structure and instrumentality of systems, to the even more abstract notion of a force, a way of effecting change in the world.

But when it arrived, this new world, and the art it inspired, was in some ways far different from what Whitman might have envisioned. For Whitman, it was a matter of incorporating the world of science and technology into a larger aesthetic vision of democratic civilization; for the Modernists of the twentieth century the new world of the machine became far more compelling, and in some ways far more threatening, to behold. An early sign of Page 4 things to come is visible in the response of Henry Adams, who, gazing at the huge generating dynamos at the Chicago Exposition in 1893large beyond a scale imagined by Whitmansaw in them, with awe and some dread, a symbol of the age's most powerful cultural Force, occupying a position as central to our society as the Virgin had been for Medieval culture (Adams 379-390; Tichi, Shifting Gears 137-168).

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